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By Peter Lev

From Library Journal

Lev (mass verbal exchange, Towson Univ.) examines how American cinema within the Seventies portrayed society's development towards variety and egalitarianism. targeting topics and genres instead of the auteur technique, Lev teams the 39 movies mentioned in chapters that come with "Hippie Generation" (Five effortless items, Alice's Restaurant), and "Whose Future?" (Star Wars, Alien). His educational, nearly literary explication and interpretation works specially good with extra cerebral motion pictures, akin to Apocalypse Now, yet is much less winning with motion movies and "Blaxploitation to African American" motion pictures. there are various solid insights, together with the remark that a lot of the philosophy and ideology of the Sixties counterculture was once probably not portrayed in motion pictures until eventually the very finish of the last decade (in motion pictures like effortless Rider) after which particularly flourished within the motion pictures of the Seventies. Lev additionally explores the influence of the expanding significance of promoting and the altering venues for movies (cable, movies, pay-per-view). Marc Sigoloff's the movies of the Seventies (LJ 7/84), a close filmography of the interval, is an efficient complementary reference resource for Lev's essays. urged for tutorial and picture libraries.DRichard W. Grefrath, Univ. of Nevada Lib., Reno
Copyright 2000 Reed enterprise details, Inc.

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Shelly, a confused and unhappy young man who uses heroin to block out his troubles, is almost a son to the couple. However, Ray’s competitiveness and Alice’s compensatory sexual response make Shelly even more confused. After being off drugs for several weeks, Shelly reverts to heroin use. When confronted by Alice and Ray, he roars off on his motorcycle. Soon Shelly is dead of a heroin overdose. The film memorializes Shelly with a stylized scene of Joni Mitchell singing a requiem in a snowy graveyard.

But ultimately this is a gnostic comment, a gesture at profundity that is not necessarily profound. The comment defines a fragile and contingent character who cannot easily summarize his experience. To further consider the power and naı¨vete´ of Easy Rider, let us focus on two additional issues: the violence directed against the protagonists, and religious imagery in the film. The violent ending is a difficult compromise between a need for narrative closure and a desire not to trivialize a complex social situation.

A text with several possible meanings is interpreted in one main direction because of current events. An incoherent text becomes a rightwing text. Peter Boyle is probably naı¨ve in suggesting a liberal slant to the film (though this is one possible direction for interpretation) because its conservative appeals are so evident. The film is called Joe, not The Death of an Innocent or some such title, to highlight the most charismatic character. And Joe the character happens to be bigoted, violent, and pleased with his assault on anyone who is different.

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