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Most Socially Important Films?

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  • Anonymous
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    #599553

    With all the talk of Spotlight winning this year because it was a “message” movie, what do you guys think are some of the most important films to watch for their social or moral importance? Meaning they bring up essential questions about our society and moral consciousness.

    Some easy examples would be Schnidler’s List and Shawshank Redemption.

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    OnTheAisle
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    #599557

    Like Spotlight and Schindler’s List, a few Best Picture winners with social significance include

    The Lost Weekend (1945) was a graphic depiction of alcoholism. Audiences at the time were riveted to the scenes of the DTs (delerium tremens) though the flawed ending implies the illness can be immediately cured with will power and the love of a good woman.

    The Best Years of Our Lives (1946) was William Wyler’s epic drama made to shame America for its lack of gratitude to the veterans of WWII. The winner of eight Oscars opens with a scene that tells us everything about the film’s point of view. In the aftermath of the war, Captain Fred Derry (Dana Andrews) is doggedly trying to get home to his war bride. Best Director recipient Wyler places the camera squarely behind the podium of an airport ticketing desk. Derry requests a flight home to Boone City. None are available for many days to transport the returning veteran. However, Derry’s plea to the clerk is interrupted by the arrival of an obviously well to do businessman anxious to pick up his ticket for his golf vacation. He has no trouble getting to his destination. Right there without any commentary the audience sees that society, we the viewers, do not value the contributions of those in the armed forces who serve our country.

    Gentleman’s Agreement (1947) showed the existing anti-Semitism in well meaning folks when a journalist pretends to be Jewish. His son is beaten at school, his fiancee wants to reveal the truth to those around her, and a wealth of indignities are laid at the man’s feet.

    In the Heat of the Night (1967) was released amidst the Civil Rights movement. A bigoted Southern sheriff finds himself relying on the skills of an African American homicide investigator from Chicago who happens to be traveling through the small town when a murder occurs. Detective Virgil Tibbs’s response to how he is addressed in Chicago, “They call me, Mr. Tibbs,” resonated so strongly that the phrase became the title of the film’s sequel.

    Kramer vs. Kramer (1979) was the story of an affluent New York couple’s divorce and how the father learned to be an involved, responsible parent after the mother fled. The film reflected a cultural shift in the role of fathers in parenting.

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    Mad Max Guitarist
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    #599568

    Blue Valentine, it is a portrait of modern married couple

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    Eduardo Galhardo
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    #599598

    Kramer vs. Kramer (1979)
    Norma Rae
    (1979)
    Silkwood (1983)
    Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story (1988)
    Schindler’s List (1993)
    Philadelphia (1993)
    Erin Brockovich (2000)
    I Am Sam (2001)
    Veronica Guerin (2003)
    North Country (2005)
    Milk (2008) 
    Selma (2014)
    Pride (2014)
    Spotlight (2015) 
    Suffragette (2015) 

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    babypook
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    #599601

    I’m going to give props to Star Wars here, a film with interracial love. That may be the only subtle thing about the movie.

     

    ETA:

    A couple more that will likely fall under the radar with some of us:

    Mad Max Fury Road. That could very well be our future, with phudwars, phudcontrol, and global warming.

    The Hunger Games. See above, coupled with a wonderfully dystopian government. I’ll throw in the Divergent series where GMO is the only phud left to eat (yum yum!), population control, and once again, coupled with a government to set pyres to.

    More:

    Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? BLADE RUNNER

    Alien and Aliens

    Silent Running

    I Robot

    The Defiant Ones

    Black Like Me

    To Kill a Mockingbird

    Full Metal Jacket

    Network

     

    just for starters….

     

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    babypook
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    #599599

    With all the talk of Spotlight winning this year because it was a “message” movie, what do you guys think are some of the most important films to watch for their social or moral importance? Meaning they bring up essential questions about our society and moral consciousness.

    Some easy examples would be Schnidler’s List and Shawshank Redemption.

    Regardless of your personal feelings about Spotlight MGN, it’s not a “message” movie. It’s more akin to an exposure of what happened, and is still happening.

     

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    ETPhoneHome
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    #599635

    I think that most contemporary war films that have won best picture have a kind of message, in an anti-war sense. The ones that instantly come to mind:

    The Vietnam War films:

    Platoon
    The Deer Hunter
    Apocalypse Now (though it didn’t win)

    The World War films:

    All Quiet on the Western Front
    The Best Years of Our Lives
    Bridge on the River Kwai

    And then of course The Hurt Locker, but that is to a lesser degree.

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    AMG
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    #599675

    I know most despise it, but…Crash.

    Socially important in terms of the topic matter centrally (racism) and how different people react in given situations.

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