Vital Signs

Regional Cinema

The Last Confederate
Produced by Strongbow Pictures
Directed by A. Blaine Miller and Julian Adams
Written by Julian Adams and Weston Adams

Produced by Forbesfilm
Written and directed by
Christopher Forbes

Like it or not, movies are the main art form of our time, the storytelling medium that reaches the largest audience and captures the attention of us all, high and low, wise and foolish.  It is also arguable that movies, like literature and architecture, reflect something of the soul of the particular nation that produces them.  If so, we indeed need to be concerned about the American soul.

Until the late 60’s, our cinema—whether contemporary or costume drama, comedy, Western, or war film—reflected a general baseline of Middle American values.  It was not usually great art, but it was consoling entertainment and a source and reflection of a national consensus.  And it portrayed with sympathy the real “diversity” of this far-flung Union—New England, the Big Apple, the Old South, the Midwest, and the West.

The catastrophe known as the 60’s—marked by a collapse of morals, political fanaticism and violence, multiculturalism, and the ever-tighter centralized control and enforced uniformity of all phases of life by the bicoastal elite—coincided with...

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