FILMPROP Picturing the Generations
Filmprop does more than picture the generations; it speaks to them and for them. Sometimes exploitative of generations, filmprop in the 1990s was more newprop than oldprop, more boomerish than young or old, and more fictional than real. More importantly, it idealized the diversity and creativity of its audiences and stimulated their imaginations. However, as an art form that depended on ticket sales for its success, its descents into profit taking made Hollywood vulnerable to attack for debasing the popular culture.
The social concerns in the 1990s were broad -- ambition, anger, apocalypse, conflict, death, diversity, the environment, gender, generosity, humanism, idealism, morality, politics, racism -- and others too numerous to mention. Much of the filmprop of the early 1990s pictured the problems and accomplishments of generations with sensitivity and concern. However, some generations were portrayed less frequently and as less able to function within the popular culture. In some cases this responded to marketing considerations and in its exclusiveness expressed oldprop rather than the new.
In some films,Hollywood spanned the generations rather than focusing on one or another of them; of these, the author chose four that were most inclusive: Do the Right Thing, When Harry Met Sally, Schindler's List, and The Terminator. Because filmprop is a dramatic form, each of these films spoke both in