HUMANISM | ATHEISM | MORAL RELATIVISM | TRANSGRESSIONISM | PORNOGRAPHY | SEXUALITY | ETHICS | SOCIOLOGY | CENSORSHIP | LIBERTARIANISM | STARDOM | MORALITY | POST-MODERNISM | SIMULACRA | PSYCHO-ANALYTIC SEMIOTICS | SCHOLARSHIP | DISCOURSE | TEXT | EDUCATION | AUTEURISM | GENRE | POLITICS | RADICALISM | SUBVERSION | PERSONA | INDIVIDUALISM | PATRIARCHY | FEMINISM | CAPITALISM | EROTICA | EXISTENTIALISM | HOLLYWOOD | "CONSTRUCT" | CRITICISM | REVIEW | ANALYSIS | HISTORY | TECHNOLOGY | INDEPENDENCE | STUDIO | ART | COMMERCE | INDUSTRY | MONEY |
MULTIMEDIA RETROSPECTIVE EXAMINING MORAL RELATIVISM IN CINEMA, 1966-1982, COMMENCES: HUMANIST-RATIONALIST METHODOLOGY INFORMS NEW FILM SCHOLARSHIP INITIATIVE & e-BOOK RANGE
The 1970s is often referred to as the best period in American cinema, a time of unrivalled creative freedom in which even adult XXX cinema was accorded equal status and reviewed accordingly. It was the time of "the kids with beards" generation, film school brats the studios considered upstarts but who suddenly became marketable following the phenomenal success of Easy Rider (1969). The youth film, the road movie, the disaster movie; these popular forms combined with a nostalgia wave and a cycle of iconoclastic genre revisionism that saw these new directors deconstruct, explode and re-work tradional Hollywood genres into morall ambivalent, complex humanist examinations of human nature, society and its discontents. So too world cinema, not bound by Hollywood's dependence on genre, birthed a wave of morally revisionist works that, while not wholly embracing the sexually explicit aesthetics to the "porn" feature internationally legitimized at the same time, directly confronted the moral and ethical consequences of a non-traditional, non-Christian focus on human sexuality, inter-personal relations and artistic expression.
The subsequent flourishing of a post-modernist, text-driven cinema and scholatly marketplace was unrivalled, lasting until the mid-1980s and the onset of Hollywood's obsession with the "blockbuster" mentality and wherein American cinema slowly began to resemble glossy, manufactured, conveyor-belt delivered "product". So too the conservative cree of the Reagan era and the worldwide, Christian-driven backlash against the liberalism of the "sexual revolution" and the so-called Age of Permissiveness saw to it that conventional, traditional moral values again dominated screen discourse. Where by the mid-1960s the former Christian-valued film censorship morals establishment known as "The Hays Code" was obsolete, the drive for box-office returns over inventive and exploratory (let alone critical or subversive) discourse, saw a de facto return to traditional values despite seemingly liberal approaches to graphic violence and sexual content.
Wider Screenings TM is an online, multimedia retrospective examining this "interim" period in film, between the demise of the Hollywood Hays Code to the establishment of the conservative box-office agenda. The website consists of reviews, filmmaker profiles, articles, histories and original video programming exploring the range of thematic, stylistic, aesthetic, socio=political and sexual / ethics discourses that emerge from both well-known and lesser known films and filmmakers from that era. There are exceptions for relevant films before and after that date - individual works and directors which continue the explorations of this key era in filmmaking history. More detailed analysis, scholarship, biography and genre history can be found in the multimedia eBook range accompanying the film reviews on the website. As the website also reviews sexually explicit adult films from the period, some of the screenshot and video-embed illustrations may be offensive to some readers.
Post-modern, text deconstruction informed by Metzian psycho-analytic criticism is the governing methodological approach undertaken in this ongoing retrospective. Films are examined for thir discursive content, not their entertainment or enjoyment value. So too, no morally absolutist standard is adopted in these reviews, the principle being the films' relation to atheist, humanist concepts, including moral relativism. Scholarly responsibility is maintained throughout Wider Screenings TM and its eBooks. Where applicable, bibliographical references are provided and all material from other sources is acknowledged. All graphic material - screenshots and audio-video embeds - is used solely to illustrate the analytical and critical points in the textual work. Links to affiliate retailer and online VOD exhibition sites is provided where applicable as a courtesy service: if any film reviewed on the site or in the eBook range is intriguing, please support the motion picture industry by purchasing a legitimate copy from one of out affiliate retailers.
Currently under construction, with daily updates, when individual content allows, new feature material will be added to the homepage on a regular basis. Check back for updates and new content. Subscription, newsletters and additional content is in development. To quote a line from the Walter Hill directed 1979 cult movie, The Warriors: "stay tuned boppers, stay tuned".
(c) 2013- ROBERT CETTL | ALL RIGHTS RESERVED