Under the theme, “Changing Times,” we look through a lens of retrospection to identify a particular film’s contribution to changing societal attitudes and behavior. Did the movie merely reflect life at the time, or was it instrumental in changing cultural norms?
About the same time that Friends in Council was chartered in 1869 Sarah [Atwater Denman] also worked to get a national women’s suffrage convention in Quincy. According to Paul R. Anderson in Platonism in the Midwest, the women’s clubs were considered part of the early feminist movement serving to provide organizational support for women.
—Iris Nelson, Herald-Whig
Women in America have gathered together for support and for intellectual stimulation for a very long time. In that regard, strong evidence shows that the nature of women has not changed since the 17th century. In the first recorded gathering for group discussion of literature and issues of the day, women began, in essence, a book club and what has become known as “feminism”.1Continue reading No Feminists without a Book Club?→
Show me a “first world” country and I will show you a Mrs. Bridge — one of the title characters in this month’s movie, Mr. and Mrs. Bridge (1990). First world countries offer capitalism, industrialization, and technological innovation as gravy trains that carry opportunity far and wide, thus creating a robust middle class. For Mrs. Bridge and other women of her time, “paternalistic” was another societal attribute that helped to create her particular middle-class status. Continue reading Mrs. Bridge is Changing with 21st Century Values→
Audrey Hepburn’s compassion intensified during early hardship, growing up in Europe during World War II. Travelers to Europe today would find it difficult to imagine that enduring near-starvation was the plight of one who lived to become the most iconic movie star of her era. World War II left its ugly mark on many people, but blessed with physical beauty, a delightful personality, and great stamina, Hepburn survived to brighten lives around the world with her presence onscreen. This month, at a very different time, she brightens our lives once again as we watch the movie, Charade (Donen, 1963). Continue reading Charade Showcases Dazzling Audrey Hepburn→
Through the decades of the 1940s and 1950s in America, societal monotony with its binary vision and easy moral choices began to change into a complex and uncomfortable nation of people, thanks in part to a revolutionary foray into areas of literary taboo in movies and in books such as Grace Metalious’ Peyton Place (1956).