O, Be Some Other Name, by Rita Cannon

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  1. This is a weak moment in American film history. Films of the 1970s were unafraid to investigate who we are within the society we’re enclosed by. Where is The Deer Hunter of today’s cinema? The shock of trauma, of heartbreak mean nothing in the absence of quiet and reflection. In today’s cultural landscape we could use a heaping portion of the stillness to breathe, and we need insightful portraits of outsiders and the disenfranchised; not the clichéd homeless or the drug-addled but the Wallace Avery’s who make up the bulk of our working society. This species of screen story is not encouraged or promoted as it is, ironically, in contemporary cable television. American movies dole out plenty of mindless escapism despite the overwhelming majority of smart baby boomers and inquisitive youth of all classes who are looking for nutritious content. Dull un-layered stories posing as quirky, or the effects-laden blockbuster with its ADD editorial style continue to critically trump the psychological character-driven pieces that once gave American film its most intelligent and soulful content.

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