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The Politics Of The 1960s And 1960s

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As political climates change, so do the themes found within cinema. The 1960s and 1970s were a time of change for America. Feminism, civil rights movements, and gay rights movements were all progressing, and liberal values were becoming more and more prevalent among the younger generation. For conservatives, the 60s and 70s were seen as a time of decline; as a low point in American history, and a time of regression in American society. The progressive and liberal values were not positive changes for all Americans, but the changes were coming about nonetheless. However, in the late 1970 's and the 1980 's there was a dramatic shift in the themes found in American cinema that reflected the neo-conservative political changes. With the…show more content…
312) Stallone 's character is the archetypal male hero-- tough, confident, and above the law (though it 's alright because he is the hero saving the day). On the other hand, the female lead (played by Brigitte Nielson) is the archetypal damsel in distress-- beautiful, but unable to take care of herself as she is rescued in the end by the male lead. The scene where Brigitte Nielson is saved by Sylvester Stallone as a masculine, patriotic song plays behind them reflects the patriarchal ideals of the 1950s. The idea that men are above women; the idea that women need to be saved; the idea that women cannot help themselves. These demonstrated ideals set back the progress in feminism that was established throughout the 60s and 70s. Furthermore, in terms of attacking the audience, Needham puts an emphasis on the opening credits of this film, and for good reason. The opening credits are used as a tactic to manipulate the American audience; to make them feel as if they are being threatened. The film begins with a barrel of a gun being pointed at the audience, as Sylvester Stallone 's voice is listing American crime statistics in the background. At the end of the credits, the gun fires a slow-motion bullet towards the audience. On this, Needham says, "we, the audience, America, are quite literally under attack." (Needham, 2016, p. 313) This symbolism reappears at the end of the film, where the American audience is once again
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