The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
Ant-Man and the Wasp
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All Critics (7)
| Top Critics (4)
| Fresh (5)
| Rotten (2)
Rigorously argued and exhaustively researched.
An intellectual tour through some of American cinema's most politically idealistic moments and some of its most pessimistic.
Makes a significant (and entertaining) contribution to the saga of the blacklist.
In the end, this film is an interesting, but disjointed look at the efforts of blacklisted filmmakers to influence society. It isn't always successful in convincingly illustrating its claims, but it is historically important.
The directors make no pretense at objectivity... By limiting their examples to "filmwork created by the victims of the Hollywood Blacklist," they ignore a mainstream cinema that was considerably more complex than they are willing to admit.
As an informative documentary about the Hollywood Blacklist, "Red Hollywood" is less interested in the martyrdom of those involved than it is in exploring the question of the work involved and any progressive issues raised in those movies. It also makes a great case for worshiping Susan Hayward, by the way.
But to me the most interesting thing about this cine-essay is not what it imparts directly, but the movies it references and how obscure they are, especially for Hollywood movies. I mean, yes, "Women of the Year" and "On the Waterfront" are mentioned here. But I did not see "Try and Get Me" until last year and the only reason I knew about the semi-clasic "Salt of the Earth" was because it was written about in 'Alternate Oscars' by Danny Peary who contrasted it with "On the Waterfront," released the same year. On the other hand, I have seen the minor red-baiting John Wayne movie "Big Jim McLain" which leads off "Red Hollywood."
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