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THE 1950S IN FILM
February 4, 2016 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm$6
This lecture will use film to examine the values and spirit of the 1950s, with special emphasis on the role of the GI generation, or those who grew up in the U.S. during the deprivation of the Great Depression, and then went on to fight in World War II or made a contribution to the war effort. While present-day treatments like Mad Men and Masters of Sex, emphasize the sexism and racism of the era, films like Good Night and Good Luck, Twelve Angry Men, and The Apartment, help paint a different picture and reveal historical and cultural elements of the ’50s. This was an era of strong institutions to which individuals were expected to show loyalty, but also of a shared commitment to basic American rights and a growing sense of equality for all. Thus we shall see the broadcaster Edward R. Murrow take on Senator Joe McCarthy, and a jury in a murder case struggle to overcome passion and bigotry with reason to reach the right verdict. We will also briefly look to the ’70s, using the satirical film Network to show how the GI generation began to lose influence and younger generations began to shape a new world.
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