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The appearance of nostalgia for American cinema's history in the films of the 1970s - Essay Example

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Movies may give the viewer a sense of nostalgia. This is when the movies portray events that occur during a period of time in a somewhat idealized way. Rock Hudson and Doris Day movies provide a nostalgic view of the 1950s, in that these were cute romantic comedies that featured a masculine man…
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The appearance of nostalgia for American cinemas history in the films of the 1970s
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The appearance of nostalgia for American cinema's history in the films of the 1970s

Download file to see previous pages... trayed at least one nuclear family and at least some kind of prosperity in his film, for this is the stereotype that was assumed by the early 1970s – that the 1950s were a time of nuclear family and father knows best. A time of unlimited dreams and houses in the suburbs. Picket fences and family dogs. Benevolent fathers who dispense advice, and mothers who wear aprons and bake cookies. That sort of image. These images are stereotypical, yet are still the stuff of 1950s fantasies. These images are also not the way that it really was. Stephanie Coontz (1997) provides a coherent counterpoint for this idealized version of the 1950s. Coontz states that, although Americans in 1996 voted the 1950s as the most idyllic time for a child to grow up, in reality, the decade still left much to be desired. The 1950s was a time of prosperity, in that wages were growing at a higher rate than any other decade, while the median priced home was only 15 to 18 percent of a man’s salary. Yet, women were not treated well, nor were minorities, and parents did not communicate well with their children. The children of the 1950s, meanwhile, have stated, by and large, that they would not want the same marriage as their parents. They state that their fathers did not provide good role models, and their mothers could not be happy (Coontz, 1997, p. 34). Coontz argues that the nostalgia for the 1950s was rooted in a desire to return to a time when kids were kept on the straight and narrow. The decade was also seen as family friendly, presumably because it was the decade that is not necessarily known for the pornography and media violence that has marked the decades hence. There was also a feeling of optimism (Coontz, 1997, p. 35), more than what is seen in the current decade, and, certainly, more...
Movies may give the viewer a sense of nostalgia.This is when the movies portray events that occur during a period of time in a somewhat idealized way. Rock Hudson and Doris Day movies provide a nostalgic view of the 1950s, in that these were cute romantic comedies that featured a masculine man, a pretty petite woman and lots of innocent fun. Westerns may provide a sense of idealization, when it shows the land as being a place of dreams, the hero always wins, and the anti-hero is redeemed. This is not the case with the two movies explained below, The Last Picture Show and Days of Heaven. The Last Picture Show and Days of Heaven represent a different time period from the present, neither of them are particularly nostalgic. As Cook (2005 ) states, nostalgia is a kind of fantasy, so much so that it is more inauthentic then memory. Nostalgia would depend upon an idealized version of what was really true and this is not the case with these two films. The Last Picture Show takes the conventional wisdom of the 1950s – that this was a time of nuclear families, lemonade stands, picket fences, benevolent fathers and mothers, and obedient children – and stands them on their head. The kids in this film are immoral and crass, one of the central adults is an adulterous drunk, and another central adult is carrying on an affair with a 17-year-old boy. Only Sam the Lion serves as a nostalgic touchstone, as he embodies the values that are supposedly ascribed to this time - virtuosity, wisdom, courage and patience. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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