Tricked into truth : why we fight and Frank Capra's movements of the mind

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Between 1942 and 1945 Hollywood director Frank Capra produced a series of seven films made for the United States War Department and designed to educate and motivate American civilians and service people regarding America’s role in WW2 and America’s relationship with those it was fighting with and fighting against. Entitled 𝘞𝘩𝘺 𝘞𝘦 𝘍𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵 (𝘞𝘞𝘍), I contend the series represents an underappreciated and under researched foundation of post-WW2 avant-garde cinema where a filmmaker usually associated with traditional values (Gallagher 1981, p. 21) and a commercial and establishment position (Girgus 1998, p. 58), changed the course of American experimental, avant-garde and found footage film. My research explores and defines Capra’s new form of collage and found footage-based cinema via the principles of geometry, music and mathematics pioneered by Capra in his production of 𝘞𝘩𝘺 𝘞𝘦 𝘍𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵 and the creative impact of this work on American post-WW2 avant-garde cinema and ‘sample’ culture of the 21ˢᵗ century. This thesis applies the formal parameters of 𝘞𝘩𝘺 𝘞𝘦 𝘍𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵 to key works from the found footage tradition in order to demonstrate the ways in which Frank Capra’s forms, structures and strategies connect with the screen geography, geometry and psychology of avant-garde film. This thesis makes the case for renegotiation of Frank Capra, experimental filmmaker, and demonstrates the influence of his 𝘞𝘩𝘺 𝘞𝘦 𝘍𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵 series post-WW2 and contemporary avant-garde film cultures.
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