The Epic & False Historical.
A combustable mixture of Classic Hollywood with Southern Glorification, Gone with the Wind provides insight into the Lost Cause narrative.
American Film Institutes Ranking: #4/100
Awards: Nominated for thirteen (13) winning eight, including Best Picture, Director and Actress.
This movie has a lot of angles to consider. It requires an ability to shape shift, consider all the different frames of reference, and sift through what you find.
It needs to be blasted for being a racist, vile attempt at creating lament for an unjust society, falling into the category of propaganda. It’s cultural significance also cannot be denied; across all releases, it is estimated to have sold 200 million tickets in the US and Canada. This view of Southern Gentility was a widely-accepted technique used by many Southerners to help reinterpret and redefine their society, however false the narrative. Then, you have the actual story of Scarlet O’Hara, a 1930s feminist-infused protagonist dropped anachronistically into an earlier time.
This leaves this Hollywood Golden Age film, with the symphonic music, gorgeous sets, and memorable cinematography, held in abeyance: what place should it hold now?
Continue reading “Top 100 Movies Review: #4 – Gone with the Wind (1939)”
“It was funny, too,how lonesome a person could be in a crowded house.” Mick.
It’s always the books about the human spirit that endure. There is no need to worry about setting or plot as the things people dealt with then are the same things we deal with now. It’s like when James Baldwin said “You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read.”
Carson McCuller wrote “The Heart is a Lonely Hunter” at the age of 23. It was an immediate hit and was the first of many of her works to focus on loneliness and isolation. She herself was not in good health and would die at the age of 50 after living a life of strokes and health complications. It’s hard not to think that these personal, life experiences weren’t the catalyst for many of her novels.
This book checks off many of my personal-taste preferences: vignette chapters from each character’s perspective, the setting of a small town in the rural south and a focus on characters and not necessarily plot. While this might not move the needle for other readers, there is plenty to love about the temporary world McCuller builds in small-town Georgia.
Continue reading “Top 100 Book Review: The Heart is a Lonely Hunter – Carson McCullers (1940)”