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Saturday, June 8, 2013

June 8-9, 2013: A Crowd-sourced Blockbuster

[With the summer movie season fully underway, this week’s series has focused on AmericanStudying some classic blockbusters. This crowd-sourced post is drawn from the responses and ideas of fellow AmericanStudiers—add your own crowd-pleasers, please!]
Jeff Renye follows up the Star Wars post with a link to clips from “the Turkish Star Wars.”
Anne Marie Donahue writes, “Don't be too hard on Lucas. Kurosawa often admitted to being very influenced by the American Westerns, particularly High Noon (legend has it, that was his favorite film). Best summer movie memory: seeing a revival of Jaws at the Strand Theatre in Clinton MA. Packed full of middle agers (self included) people who could be my parents and teens that could be my kids. Everyone, and I mean everyone, was there to have a blast. Never thought I'd see the day when a bunch of teens screamed at a foam rubber shark, sans HD effects! There is a god, and he is Spielberg.”
And Anne follows up the Jaws post, adding, “I loved this film! What intrigued me the most (after the soundtrack of course) was the constant battle (but not battle) for alpha male that Quint, Brody and Hooper shared. Quint, being the owner of the boat and at one point madman of the sea, is supplanted by Hooper after Hooper proves his masculinity (battled a little shark as a child). Hooper's boating skills and nautical knowledge, paired with his unending good nature makes it clear to Quint that he's not playing alpha male, which oddly makes him a winner of that game. But the truly interesting upheaval is Brody, the former uber-macho police officer from NYC (I think) and now glorified security guard in a vacation spot. This film is one of the best.”
In response to a Tweet of mine about historical films, I got a bunch of great replies:
Heather Cox Richardson Tweeted, “On Reconstruction: Sweet Home Alabama=brilliant; Sommersby=hilariously awful.”
Joseph Adelman Tweeted, “I’ve had good success in Revolutionary America class with Mary Silliman’s War,” adding that “there’s a decent essay on it from the AHA’s Perspectives.”
Kenneth Owen Tweeted that he tends to use documentaries more than feature films in the classroom, but that “Movie-wise, I love the film version of 1776. #verypredictable.”
Next series start Monday,
Ben
PS. What blockbuster memories or analyses would you add?

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