Categories
Book Shelf Writer

Vaudevisuals Bookshelf – “Make My Day: Movie Culture in the Age of Reagan

Make My Day: Movie Culture in the Age of Reagan

Acclaimed media critic J. Hoberman’s masterful and majestic exploration of the Reagan years as seen through the unforgettable movies of the era.

The third book in a brilliant and ambitious trilogy, celebrated cultural and film critic J. Hoberman’s Make My Day is a major new work of film and pop culture history. In it he chronicles the Reagan years, from the waning days of the Watergate scandal when disaster films like Earthquake ruled the box office to the nostalgia of feel-good movies like Rocky and Star Wars, and the delirium of the 1984 presidential campaign and beyond.

Bookended by the Bicentennial celebrations and the Iran-Contra affair, the period of Reagan’s ascendance brought such movie events as JawsApocalypse NowBlade RunnerGhostbustersBlue Velvet, and Back to the Future, as well as the birth of MTV, the Strategic Defense Initiative, and the Second Cold War.

An exploration of the synergy between American politics and popular culture, Make My Day is the concluding volume of Hoberman’s Found Illusions trilogy; the first volume, The Dream Life, was described by Slate’s David Edelstein as “one of the most vital cultural histories I’ve ever read”; Film Comment called the second, An Army of Phantoms, “utterly compulsive reading.” Reagan, a supporting player in Hoberman’s previous volumes, here takes center stage as the peer of Indiana Jones and John Rambo, the embodiment of a Hollywood that, even then, no longer existed.

“Singular, stylish and slightly intoxicating in its scope.”
—David Fear, Rolling Stone

“Rigorous, scholarly . . . for readers seeking an insightful, academic meditation on the relationship between media and sociopolitical issues.”
Library Journal

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

 

 

Categories
Circus Clown Performing Arts Photography

Circus Fans – Come Celebrate World Circus Day ~ Washington DC

FROM SMITHSONIAN BLOG!

2017 FOLKLIFE FESTIVAL, CIRCUS ARTS, COMMUNITY, WORK LIFE

Happy World Circus Day! This year’s theme is collaboration and cooperation for the future of circus, making today an ideal opportunity to announce our Circus Arts program at the 2017 Folklife Festival. As part of our fiftieth anniversary celebrations, Circus Arts will take people behind the scenes of circus life to explore the culture and artistry of one of America’s most important and historic performance art traditions.

We are proud to present a program that celebrates the circus because it reflects the incredible diversity of people, history, and creative energy in our country and our world. Like the Folklife Festival, it provides a way for people from all over the world to share their arts, foods, languages, rituals, and other customs. For many Americans in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the circus brought glimpses of a wider world through dazzling sights, sounds, and stunts—a living antecedent of the internet.

After weathering a period of some decline, circus arts are now experiencing a grassroots revival focused on live human performance and creativity. Circus arts are bubbling up once again all over the country through new circus schools and community-based organizations created by veteran artists. Their collective stories and recollections comprise a very important part of the American experience.

 Our program will highlight the five major circus disciplines: acrobatics, aerial skills, equilibristics, object manipulation, and clowning. It will showcase the occupational culture of circus artists but will not involve exotic animals.

Artists and coaches, costume designers, makeup artists, musicians, lighting and sound technicians, prop and tent designers, riggers, poster artists, wagon builders, cooks, and many others whose collective work brings the circus to life will come together on the National Mall to share their experiences.

Focused on human physicality and performance finesse, the program will bring veteran and retired circus greats together with a new generation of artists who are now pushing the craft toward new directions and limits. We hope that circus artists from past, present, and future will enrich us all with their collective artistry and skills.

Join us to experience a flight on a trapeze—or the discovery of a hidden clown personality. Learn the basics of concentrated juggling and acrobatics—or what it takes to walk a high wire. Easy? Not exactly!

We look forward to sharing more information about this exciting program and about the traditions, artistry, and skills that keep the circus arts alive and engaging.

Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date on this program, and join us in Washington, D.C., June 29 through July 4 and July 6 through 9, 2017, to celebrate the circus arts at the 2017 Folklife Festival. Together, let’s ensure a vibrant future for circus.

Preston Scott is the curator for the 2017 Circus Arts program and a resident of Sarasota, Florida—historical headquarters to many circus artists and organizations.