William Rothman on film and music of the 1960s
From - UM Libraries on August 13th, 2021
Bill Rothman, Professor in the School of Communications, discusses film, art and music in the 1960s. He admits that usually when we think of the 1960s, we think more of music than of films. Film-making is expensive, so most pictures of the 1950s and 1960s were produced by Hollywood studios, and few were counter-cultural. African Americans were mostly excluded from the film industry, with a few exceptions such as Poitier. The corporate establishment made movies that did not always provide what teenagers really wanted to see. In the 1950s, television was dominant and McCarthyism affected film-making. Science fiction films might argue that aliens could be welcomed, but were as likely to dramatize that strangers were dangerous. 1960 was a watershed year as the French New Wave appeared with such movies as Godard's "Breathless" ("A bout de souffle"), movies that showcased sex and violence that 1950s American films did not show. He discusses other sociological aspects of the cinema-going experience. For instance, an audience member is supposed to be silent during a movie, unlike dancing at a concert. Eventually, college students began to demand that film studies be introduced into curricula.