American Film and Society since 1945 by Leonard Quart

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By Leonard Quart

This post-World warfare II survey of yankee cinema presents an in-depth exploration of ways movie acts as a strong cultural expression of the yankee public's goals and desires.

• contains an creation that addresses the historical past of the decade and discusses occasions comparable to the assaults of September eleventh, 2001, storm Katrina, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the commercial drawback, and the election of President Barack Obama

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Shortly thereafter she followed up on that role with the character of a mysterious sexual Circe in the intricately murderous plot of The Lady From Shanghai (1947). The Lady From Shanghai, directed by her then husband Orson Welles, is a virtuoso piece of baroq ue film-making filled with aural and visual images and metaphors (for example, the symbolic intercutting between the film's characters and crocodiles and snakes), unusual camera angles and the rich use of depth offocus. The world it depicts is one ofjilm noir, a dark universe of men and women who deceive and destroy each other in exotic settings such as the Caribbean and Acapulco.

Film noir also had its bizarre and seedy minor characters, its ritualised violence, cruelty, sadism, grotesquerie and sexual alienation and when the good triumphed at a film's climax (for it was still dominated by Hollywood conventions), its victory was usually an ambiguous one. 21 These similarities notwithstanding, the film noir style still encompassed a wide range of works of varying quality. For example, there were films like Fritz Lang's powerful Women in the Window and Scarlet Street (1945), where a lonely, sexually 24 AMERICAN FILM AND SOCIETY SINCE 1945 unfulfilled male (Edward G.

The moral here being that independent career women are lonely and asexual, and would trade it all for the right man. Nevertheless, despite the Hollywood conventions Crawford and Arden are clearly the most powerful figures in the film. Obviously, joan Crawford's career women owed more to the conventions of the women's pictures than tofilm noir, but in both genres women often enjoyed a great deal of power over the imagination and will of men. There were a number of possible reasons for the diverse and powerful images offemale menace, power and maternal patience that filled these films.

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