CULTURAL LITERACY—MOVIES. Rob Gallo had a long interesting comment here about movies and movie acting. He concludes the comment with “Food for thought.” It’s made for some interesting discussion in our house. Let me begin by saying that one of the gaps in my liberal education is the great movies of the thirties and forties. Rob is roughly a generation younger than I am, yet he mentions seven movies, and I’ve only seen two of them. Back in the eighties Allen Bloom wrote THE CLOSING OF THE AMERICAN MIND, which deplored the declining role of the Great Books in American universities, and E.D. Hirsch, Jr. wrote books about cultural which broadened the scope of what Americans should know beyond what the wikipedia article on cultural literacy refers to as “[k]nowledge of a canonical set of literature.” Mary Jane used to exclaim indignantly: “Cultural literacy! Why doesn’t my baby sitter know who Gary Cooper is!”

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  1. Rob Gallo says:

    Its certainly easier to attempt to watch the top 100 or so movies than it is to read the top 100 books. 7 or 8 years ago I decided to watch all of the films on the AFI’s top 100 list that I had not seen (60+ movies). It took me a while and there are some clunkers on the list (Dracula, Frankenstein), but overall it was great fun and always a good conversation piece. The AFI has since updated its list with some new movies making the list and others falling out, but its a great starting point for anyone interested in expanding their horizons. And every baby sitter should know who Gary Cooper is. High Noon is one of the best movies of all time and its only 80 minutes.

  2. Pingback: NOT THE BEST FILM OF ALL TIME. | Pater Familias

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