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The history of the moving image and American sexuality: Devices to enable and sabotage the Capitalist agenda

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  1. Introduction
  2. Thesis
  3. Section one 1920 to 1960: Repression
    1. Pleasure regulation
  4. Section two 1960 to 1970: Expression
  5. Section three 1970 to 1995: From expression to repression
  6. Conclusion
  7. Sources

The paper will focus on the history of the moving image and construction of American sexuality during a specific period of American history. The view will be articulated by seventy-five years of the twentieth century: the years 1920 ? 1995. While the paper will focus on this entire period, focus will shift between the time as a whole, and the time in sections. The three sections of time are divided as follows: 1920 ? 1960, Section 1; 1960 ? 1970,Section 2; and 1970 ? 1995, Section 3. Each section is marked by American culture's relationship with/to/of sex. Section One is marked by repression; section two is marked by expression; section three is marked by regression (from expression to repression).

[...] In the history of the moving image in America, most material subversive to mainstream capitalism appears in independent cinema, and now independent television networks and the Internet. There are those occasions, though, where subversive material comes in all-American, mainstream Hollywood packaging. Those examples have more potential to effect change than those from independent sources. Subversion in mainstream form is like hiding plain sight, which is the best way to hide. If audience members are given no reason to believe something is being concealed or that there is something else besides what is happening on the surface at work, they won't; they will accept without questioning. [...]

[...] According to several versions of the MPPDA codes, it is illegal to show blacks and whites in romantic and/or sexual congress onscreen. This film captures an unusually unbiased, human, minimally racist, fairly realistic depiction of this situation, especially for this country during this time (right after the 1950s, high times for high capitalism). Guess Who's Coming to Dinner subversively introduces these topics and issues into repressed sexual America by using some of Hollywood's sweethearts and ethnic characters. Section Three 1970 1995, Regression From Expression to Repression: 3. [...]

[...] To the foremost shock of many, the film was a commercial success and is a ?cult classic.? The original soundtrack is Earth, Wind, & Fire, unknown at the time of the film's production, now, cross-generational, worldwide R&B/Funk legends. What's Eating Gilbert Grape?(1993) is a film about a family of immobile people who are visited by Johnny Depp's character and gets them moving on various levels. The mother is morbidly obese and cannot leave the house, let alone get up and down the stairs in a reasonable amount of time. [...]

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