Here we are in 2017, just a short eight years away from the 100-year mark since Sergei Eisenstein’s Battleship Potemkin (1925) was released. Credited with revolutionizing the art and craft of filmmaking through its utilization of montage and special effects, this movie also forms an essential foundation for the use of film for propaganda.
By the 1890s, the technology of photography had evolved to a point where motion pictures were possible, and it didn’t take long for mankind to realize the enormous potential of the medium for propaganda. Motion pictures were easily understood for all levels of education, in spite of a silent screen, and could reach the masses in minimal time. Within 30 years of the first motion picture ever filmed, Russian movie maker Sergei Eisenstein had directed Battleship Potemkin (Eisenstein, 1925) with the purpose of creating goodwill for the Bolsheviks and building resentment towards the Tsarists. Continue reading Thoughts on Battleship Potemkin and Propaganda→
Those of us who watched the Golden Globe Awards this week, or heard about the event after the fact, know that in accepting the Cecil B. DeMille Award, Meryl Streep gave an impassioned speech. Without naming names, most likely everyone in the world knew the context and the individual about whom she spoke.
With 2016 finally past us, Movies on My Mind is vigorously moving forward with a new list of fascinating movies to research and discuss as well as to enjoy! Mervin LeRoy’s Blossoms in the Dust has the honor of being the first movie of 2017, which is most appropriate. The motto of its subject Edna Gladney was, “Life is good, and it’s going to get better.”
A highly unusual movie for its time, Blossoms in the Dust is about adoption, a cause that Edna Gladney championed with passion throughout her life. Born in 1886, Edna Gladney was a real women who made it her life’s mission to fight for each and every orphan that crossed her path. Indeed, she surely must have bonded with children she helped, yet she never adopted a child herself. Among her accomplishments, the word “illegitimate” was removed from official records when “that Gladney woman,” as Edna became known, lobbied the Texas Legislature long and hard to pass a bill that gave adoptive children the same rights as their biological counterparts. Even so, movies that revolved around social causes were unheard of in the 1940’s; and it took the personal experience of an MGM Studio executive to promote the idea. Continue reading That Gladney Woman→
Mervyn LeRoy’s film Blossoms in the Dust is loosely based on the life of Edna Gladney, an influential Texas mover and shaker who is credited for finding homes for orphans, and for having the term illegitimate permanently removed from vital records in the state. Blossoms in the Dust is an ideal movie to share with the family; it simultaneously warms and wrenches the heart; it entertains, inspires and, educates the audience about a woman who made the world a better place lest she be forgotten with the passage of time. Continue reading Blossoms in the Dust: Thinking About Adoption→
Insight for film groups, critics, scholars, and fans