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<DOC> <DOCNO> AP890101-0001 </DOCNO> <FILEID>AP-NR-01-01-89 2358EST</FILEID> <FIRST>r a PM-APArts:60sMovies 01-01 1073</FIRST> <SECOND>PM-AP Arts: 60s Movies,1100</SECOND> <HEAD>You Don't Need a Weatherman To Know '60s Films Are Here</HEAD> <HEAD>Eds: Also in Monday AMs report.</HEAD> <BYLINE>By HILLEL ITALIE</BYLINE> <BYLINE>Associated Press Writer</BYLINE> <DATELINE>NEW YORK (AP) </DATELINE> <TEXT> The celluloid torch has been passed to a new generation: filmmakers who grew up in the 1960s. ``Platoon,'' ``Running on Empty,'' ``1969'' and ``Mississippi Burning'' are among the movies released in the past two years from writers and directors who brought their own experiences of that turbulent decade to the screen. ``The contemporaries of the '60s are some of the filmmakers of the '80s. It's natural,'' said Robert Friedman, the senior vice president of worldwide advertising and publicity at Warner Bros. Chris Gerolmo, who wrote the screenplay for ``Mississippi Burning,'' noted that the sheer passage of time has allowed him and others to express their feelings about the decade. ``Distance is important,'' he said. ``I believe there's a lot of thinking about that time and America in general.'' The Vietnam War was a defining experience for many people in the '60s, shattering the consensus that the United States had a right, even a moral duty to intervene in conflicts around the world. Even today, politicians talk disparagingly of the ``Vietnam Syndrome'' in referring to the country's reluctance to use military force to settle disputes. ``I think future historians will talk about Vietnam as one of the near destructions of American society,'' said Urie Brofenbrenner, a professor of sociology at Cornell University. ``In World War II, we knew what we were fighting for, but not in Vietnam.'' ``Full Metal Jacket,'' ``Gardens of Stone,'' ``Platoon,'' ``Good Morning, Vietnam,'' ``Hamburger Hill'' and ``Bat 21'' all use the war as a dramatic backdrop and show how it shaped characters' lives. The Vietnam War has remained an emotional issue in the United States as veterans have struggled to come to terms with their experiences. One was Oliver Stone, who wrote and directed the Academy Award-winning ``Platoon.'' ``I saw `Platoon' eight times,'' said John J. Anderson, a Palm Beach County sheriff's lieutenant who served in Vietnam in 1966-67. ``I cried the first time I saw it ... and the third and fourth times. `Platoon' helped me understand.'' Stone, who based ``Platoon'' on some of his own experiences as a grunt, said the film brought up issues that had yet to be resolved. ``People are responding to the fact that it's real. They're curious about the war in Vietnam after 20 years,'' he said. While Southeast Asia was the pivotal foreign issue in American society of the '60s, civil rights was the major domestic issue. The civil rights movement reached its peak in the ``Freedom Summer'' of 1964, when large groups of volunteers headed South to help register black voters. In ``Five Corners,'' a movie about the summer of '64 in the Bronx starring Jodie Foster, her friend, played by Tim Robbins, leaves his neighborhood to volunteer in the South after seeing the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. on television. Alan Parker's ``Mississippi Burning'' focuses on an incident that clouded the Mississippi Summer Project _ when 1,000 young volunteers from mainstream America swept into the state to help register black voters. The movie is a fictionalized account of the disappearance and slaying of three civil rights workers: Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman and James Chaney. They were reported missing on June 21, several hours after being stopped for speeding near Philadelphia, Miss. After a nationally publicized search, their bodies were discovered Aug. 4 on a farm just outside the town. One of those who recalled the incident was Gerolmo, a student in the New York public school system at the time. The screenwriter said the incident had a powerful effect on his way of thinking. ``It was the first time I ever considered that our country could be wrong,'' Gerolmo said. The film stars Willem Dafoe and Gene Hackman star as FBI agents who try to find the bodies of the missing workers and overcome fierce local resistance to solve the crime. In a more offbeat and outrageous way, John Waters' ``Hairspray'' discusses integration in Baltimore in 1963 when a group of teen-agers tries to break down the barriers of a segregated dance show. Also set in Baltimore is Barry Levinson's ``Tin Men,'' starring Danny DeVito and Richard Dreyfuss as two slick aluminum siding salesmen in the early '60s. The movie mirrored a squarely middle-class culture, one that was not caught up in sex, politics and drugs. Instead of focusing on a well-known historic event, writer-director Ernest Thompson takes a more personal approach in ``1969.'' Robert Downey Jr. and Keifer Sutherland star as college students who battle their parents and each other over sex, drugs and the Vietnam War. ``I was 19 in 1969. It was a fulcrum time for me,'' said Thompson, who was a student at American University at the time. ``I think it was just the right time in my growth as an artist and as a man to try to write about something that happened in my youth.'' ``Running on Empty'' takes place in the '80s but the '60s are much in evidence. Judd Hirsch and Christine Lahti play anti-war activists who sabatoged a napalm plant in 1970 and are forced to live underground with their two children. Naomi Foner, who wrote ``Running on Empty'' and also served as the film's executive producer, grew up in Brooklyn, N.Y., the daughter of sociologists. Her own experiences made Foner well qualified to give ``Running on Empty'' its strong political theme. ``I lived through that time and I've wanted to find the right way to present it to this generation,'' said Foner, a member of the radical Students for a Democratic Society while attending graduate school at Columbia University. Foner, who also taught in Harlem's Head Start program and helped register voters in South Carolina, said many young people are curious about what happened in the '60s. ``A lot of them think it was an exciting time that they were sorry to have missed,'' she said. Brofenbrenner said movies are a good indicator of the concerns of the general public: ``The principle impact of the media is that they reflect the values of the larger society. ``Film is a very powerful art medium,'' he said. ``I believe it very accurately reflects not only the prevailing but the coming trends. It's because film writers, like other writers, are perceptive people. They get the message of what's going on.'' </TEXT> </DOC>
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