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An Idolatrous Revolution: The Movies of Elvis Presley and The Politics of Rock & Roll

An Idolatrous Revolution: The Movies of Elvis Presley and The Politics of Rock & Roll

Paperback

Film Studies

ISBN10: 0228831083
ISBN13: 9780228831082
Publisher: Tellwell Talent
Published: May 29 2020
Pages: 320
Weight: 0.82
Height: 0.67 Width: 5.50 Depth: 8.50
Language: English

Far from the least deployed weapons in America's fighting the Cold War were Hollywood movies, Elvis Presley and rock & roll. The paradox of socially sanctioned rebellion was especially evident in the Hollywood propaganda for the new music and its king. Stereotypes of a stoic international communist revolution were readily undermined by the hedonistic cultural agenda of the western world. Though not unique to Presley's movies, they imply that liberal democracy is a superior form of social and political organization because it allows the individual to have more pleasure. Yet even in their advocacy of pleasure, the Presley movies are narrowly prescriptive in terms of what constitutes pleasure. While capitalizing on Presley's rock & roll stardom by turning him into a movie star might have been inevitable, several of his movies hinge on asking the question of not who but what is Elvis Presley. At a less immediately politically instructive level, as per early movie propaganda for rock & roll, Presley's movies are lessons on loving him and, perhaps, why it's dangerous not to. The 31 critiques of each Elvis Presley film presented in this book chronicle his active, ongoing role in being a Cold Warrior, a G-rated ambassador for the emerging sexual revolution and an entertainer of inverse relevance to the 1960's counterculture.

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