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subjective fades to black to suggest the ‘dying of the light’ as a mortally injured Ian Bannen tries unavailingly to attend to what a policeman is saying to him. In Charles Crichton’s Dance Hall (1950), the crosscutting between dance hall and train station as the heroine (Natasha Parry) is taken almost to the point of suicide eloquently forges a connection between the deceptive illusions of the former setting (‘You’re Only

in British cinema of the 1950s
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dance does not make us dancers, how much less likely is it that watching moral paragons will make us such? Or, if we simply need assurance that such behavior is possible and yet cannot find it in the world around us, then the film has sailed past optimism and into fantasy. Setting this aside, my more particular claims about the substance of these films is that the need to please

in Cinema, democracy and perfectionism
The Spanish Gardener and its analogues

falconry and the primal experience of gardening feel like lessons in growth in that they contribute to a changing character, but in Billy Elliot ballet functions simply as entertainment for a toe-tapping audience. It feels replaceable, it is an obviously ‘feminine’ alternative to that masculine sport of boxing (Billy’s mother and grandmother are both associated with dancing and Billy uses his father

in British cinema of the 1950s
Letter to M. Cavell about cinema (a remake)

practice of music; motorized transportation destroyed the art of horsemanship; the great singing and dancing movies of the twentieth century coincided with the demise of routine instruction in singing and dancing for the middle class. How is it that I, a supposedly well-educated individual of the twenty-first century, can neither recite poetry nor play an instrument, nor ride a

in Cinema, democracy and perfectionism
A cinematic response to pessimism

: film is in direct competition with God for the creation of worlds. No other art could claim as much, though all other media have tried. Every other art form relies on the presence of a viewer/spectator to enact worlds via the enlivening motility of the imagination. Poetry, novels, painting, sculpture – even theater and dance! – all these require an audience. Film does not. For

in Cinema, democracy and perfectionism
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Yale’s Chronicles of America

as the titular hero, Daniel Boone, puts it, ‘If we turn and run before the Indians it will never be a white man’s country.’ And here’s where the Chronicles perform a curious little ideological tap-dance. Since the Chronicles was aimed in part at ‘the great number of foreigners who read little in English’ and dependent in part upon their admissions fees for continued

in Memory and popular film

questions for the way history is represented in film. For films that take history as their subject undertake a dialogue with the real in a way that other films do not. Historical films have real-world reverberations: recent films such as JFK , Braveheart , Glory , The Hurricane and Dances with Wolves have served as a catalyst for the reevaluation of the historical past; they have provoked governments

in Memory and popular film

reading, film will only reflect the dance between eros and stability that underlies all of our social lives, yet it also reveals that there are various different ways to cope with this potentially antagonistic relationship: engage with it or ignore it (at your peril). 60 In contrast, Dienstag suggests that, by giving eros free reign, we may be able to avoid the symbolic and often

in Cinema, democracy and perfectionism
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Memory and popular film

films such as Glory (1989), Born on the Fourth of July (1989), Dances with Wolves (1990), JFK (1991), Malcolm X (1992), Forrest Gump (1994), Nixon (1995), Lone Star (1996), Amistad (1997), Titanic (1997), Pleasantville (1998) and Saving Private Ryan (1998), to name just a few. Whether or not these films represent an anxious response to the ‘end of history’, a revisionist

in Memory and popular film
The Pony Express at the Diamond Jubilee

Villain’, New York Times (14 September 1925), p. 16. 40 A. S., ‘Dancer on Horseback’, New York World (20 September 1925), 3M; see excerpts from other New York dailies in Film Daily (22 September 1925), p. 6. 41 See, for example, reviews in Chicago

in Memory and popular film