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The Dream Life: Movies, Media, And The Mythology Of The Sixties
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The Dream Life: Movies, Media, And The Mythology Of The Sixties

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  120 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
In what the New York Times’s A.O. Scott called a “suave, scholarly tour de force,” J. Hoberman delivers a brilliant and witty look at the decade when politics and pop culture became one.

This was the era of the Missile Gap and the Space Race, the Black and Sexual Revolutions, the Vietnam War and Watergate—as well as the tele-saturation of the American market and the advent
Paperback, 461 pages
Published July 6th 2005 by The New Press (first published 2003)
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Craig Werner
Dec 26, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: sixties
Mixed bag. On one hand, this is as good a book as I've been able to find about the relationship between film and what was happening during America during the Sixties. Hoberman tracks the historical arc from the Kennedy years through Vietnam, the counterculture and Black Power to the sad collapse of the Nixon years. I like his typology of film archetypes that come into play as the story unfolds: The Hollywood Freedom Fighter (represented in different forms by Spartacus and John Wayne in The Alamo ...more
Bryan Cebulski
Apr 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
Excellent and entertaining. Love the idea of telling history through pop culture representation. Unfortunately saturated with unneeded footnotes, but at least they're easy to skip.
Todd Stockslager
Review title: Parallel timeline of movies and politics
This is essentially an extended critical review of a selection of movies roughly bracketed by the 1960s, wherein J. Hoberman attempts to show how movies mirrored (or drove; the cause/effect linkage is never clearly defined) the politics of the time. Hoberman anchors the time in the latter part of the 1950s, citing a few movies to show the normalcy of the era, and the abruptness and sharpness of the transition to the 1960 election--and the exp
Graham Carter
Feb 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
Cinematically in the sixties the action was happening overseas with the French, Italians and Polish, and later the Germans and Czechs... but J Hoberman reminds me that in the United States the gold was rare, but what gold there was was extraordinary, such as 'Medium Cool.' But more interesting, it puts a new light on a stodgy studio film like 'McClintock!' (exclamation mark part of title).

Hoberman is interesting to me as he is more historian than film critic, and when writing about a chaotic dec
Jun 19, 2012 rated it liked it
My kind of apocalyptic politi-tainment paranoia as cultural criticism concerning my favorite era of American history, but often selective in its analyzed texts and clustered and confused heading into the home stretch (the Ford and Carter administrations are barely alluded to). Also, the long passages detailing the production histories of films like Myra Breckinridge and Pat Garett and Billy the Kid are largely unnecessary.
Jan 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Simply put, the best book I have ever read about the US in the '60's-early 70's. I will go into greater detail in the near future, but I want to gather my thoughts so I can do justice to this amazing book. One thing I can say: this book will terrify you & destroy any ideas you may of had about what the US is as a nation & an idea.
Nov 23, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: gave-up-on
I need to come back to this one in a less busy time... interesting examination of the history & politics of the 1960s through the lens of the films of the period.

I got about halfway through before it needed to go back to the library.
Jan 05, 2010 rated it really liked it
"This is the way the the 1960s end. December 1969 reeks of blood and the memory of blood."

"Who controls the Reality Studio? Whose fantasy is projected onto the screen? What does the nation decide to remember and what shall it agree to forget?"
May 26, 2010 added it
Fairly interesting, but also hard to follow because the chronology skips around, even within chapters. I'll just keep reading Hoberman's reviews.
May 15, 2009 rated it really liked it
A fascinating look at "the decade when politics and pop culture became one," by one of the greatest film critics writing today.
Oct 15, 2014 rated it liked it
Despite the interesting subject a bit of a snooze.
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Author bio from Verso Press:

J. Hoberman served as the senior film critic at The Village Voice from 1988-2012. He has taught at Harvard, NYU, and Cooper Union, and is the author of ten books, including Bridge of Light, The Red Atlantis, and The Dream Life.
More about J. Hoberman...