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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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