In-Depth

Introducing an Earlier Response to Spielberg’s Film Making: How to be an Intelligent Anti-American

To skip this introduction and go directly to the In-Depth Analysis “How to be an Intelligent Anti-American,” click here.

I saw Lincoln yesterday. I intend to write a post on its significance over the weekend.  I have fundamentally two responses to the film, aesthetic and political. On aesthetic grounds, I don’t think it is his best, but, on the other hand, I am blown away by the film’s political power. The debate it has opened is impressive. Fundamental questions about the nature of politics, the connection of past and future, and the human capacity to change the world are now being raised in the discussion of Spielberg’s latest, and a broad audience is taking part and listening in.  I will explain more fully on Monday.

Today, I have decided to post an essay I published ten years ago, inspired by my ambivalent response to Schindler’s List, which of course Lincoln resembles, for better and for worse, in many ways. My essay, as I explain in its opening, was inspired by two occasions which led to its composition as lectures. My theme on the two occasions was anti-Americanism, and Spielberg came to mind. I am posting the piece today both because I think an American film genius has does it again, revealed all the strength and weaknesses of American popular, democratic, culture, and because the main theme of my lectures, anti-Americanism, continues to be a pressing topic, both in its comic and tragic dimensions.

So today: an in-depth post, a lecture on how to be an intelligent anti-American.

To read the In-Depth Analysis, “How to be an Intelligent Anti-American,” click here.