On Movies and Society

I have said for a long time that an artist’s work is a response to something in society of the times. Pick the media … Painting, sculptures, music, novels, poems, movies, and so … and the concept holds true. Take fear for instance. What would a painting about fear appear? How would music about fear sound? What would a poem about fear make you feel? On the other hand, what were Shakespeare, Beethoven, Rockwell, or Cervantes saying about society at their time through their art?

During the recent holiday, I saw several movies about society and human behavior. Each of these served as many commentaries about the multicultural America of today. Each of these had numerous examples that made me angry, proud, ashamed, joyous, and various other moods.

I think back to the early 1900s and the boat loads of immigrants who came to America with very little – yet came to seek freedom or opportunity. The many that came through immigration stations as Ellis Island as my grandparents did … and yes, even my mother. Many settled in common neighborhoods in cities, some of which still exist today. Although I did not live during that time, but I am sure these immigrants dealt with many prejudices.

Today the world is more mobile. Not only are immigrants still legally coming to America, many are from other cultures with whom we are less familiar. Whether by foot or by boat, illegal immigration today is a lightening rod topic that also causes people to stereotype.

I saw the following movies: The Blind Side, Crash, and Gran Torino. All interesting and well done – but even more intriguing when one sees them over several days. With that in mind, here’s an interesting report from ABC News.

PS: Thanks Tim for the video.