Like it or not, movies are the main art form of our time, the story-telling medium that reaches the largest audience and captures the attention of us all, high and low, wise and foolish. It is also true that movies, like literature and architecture, reflect something of the soul of the particular nation that produces them. If so, we indeed need to be concerned about the American soul.
Until the late 60s, our cinema—whether contemporary or costume drama, comedy, Western, or war—reflected a general baseline of Middle American values. It was not usually great art but it was consoling entertainment and a source and reflection of a national consensus. And it portrayed with sympathy the real “diversity” of this far-flung Union—New England, the Big Apple, the Old South, the Midwest, and the West
The catastrophe known as The Sixties—marked by a collapse of morals, political fanaticism and violence, multiculturalism, and the ever tighter centralised control and enforced uniformity of all phases of life by the bicoastal elite, coincided with the degradation of the American cinema.
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