[maverickphilosopher] William F. Vallicella: Best Conservative Movies According to *NRO*
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Sat Nov 11 15:36:26 EST 2006
Posted by William F. Vallicella:
Best Conservative Movies According to *NRO*
Here. From the Introduction:
Movies mirror society. Many of the great conservative films were
produced during Hollywoodâs Golden Age of the Thirties and Forties,
when the ideals of Western civilization were almost universally
accepted. By the Seventies, alas, the counterculture was being
reflected in the new Hollywoodâs nihilistic themes and chaotic
styles. The trend began with Midnight Cowboy and Easy Rider in
1969, and reached its nadir in 1973 with Marlon Brandoâs
pornographic sexual epic of alienation, Last Tango in Paris.
Pauline Kael, voluble critic of The New Yorker, cried out with joy:
âThe movie breakthrough has finally come.â (Indeed, and the social
wreckage from such breakthroughs against traditional restraint is
everywhere to be seen.) Today the film is as dated as any Shirley
Temple movie, though without the charm.
Very good. But then the author continues by stating that the recovery
comes in the late '70s and '80s with the Star War movies and their
"simple truths about heroism and the triumph of good over evil. . . ."
The antidote to the nihilist trash of the Left, however, is not
Manichean simplicities and jingoism. What we need are hipcons at the
helm of the cinematic ship, not simpletons serving up Norman Rockwell
I'm not saying there are no "simple truths" or that one cannot make
judgments about good and evil. Nothing is siller than the liberal
confusion of being judgmental with judging (morally and otherwise). My
point is that the purpose of good cinematic art cannot be to serve as
a vehicle of ideology. The poet John Ciardi once said something along
the lines of: Never send a poem on a prose mission. Analogously,
movies should not be dispatched on propaganda missions.
So we need hip conservative writers and directors. Trouble is,
intellectual sophistication and artistic subtlely are more often found
on the Left than on the Right.
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