June 16, 2008

God, Man and Hollywood


ISI Books recently published a fantastic tome, God, Man and Hollywood, written by the late Mark Winchell, which contains a sharp analysis of film, and 100 reviews of "politically incorrect" movies:
Beginning with D. W. Griffith’s The Birth of a Nation and ending with Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ, Winchell reveals the politically incorrect notions at the heart of eighteen classic films, including Ben-Hur, Intruder in the Dust, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Patton, The Deer Hunter, A Clockwork Orange, Gangs of New York, and Gettsyburg. Along the way, he shows how a number of filmmakers, sometimes unwittingly, have produced unconventionally honest explorations of the nature and meaning of race relations, love, family, community, worship, and other aspects of our shared human experience. Winchell ends with synoptic assessments of an additional one hundred politically incorrect films, from About Schmidt to Zulu. The result is an indispensable film guide showing that sometimes even Hollywood has done better than we typically give it credit for.
The major argument is fantastic, and I definately recommend buying the book.
Now ISI Books has launched a site were they'll be posting some of those reviews on a weekly basis. Right now they're in the "B"s, having covered such films as All Quiet on the Western Front, About Schmidt, Babbette's Feast, and Woody Allen's Bananas. And, while some of the films truly are politically incorrect (Wag the Dog anyone?)--mostly thery are just great reviews of great films (like Zulu-shown below).

So, check it out, fill up your Netflix Queue, and have fun.

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