Film and the American Moral Vision of Nature

Film and the American Moral Vision of Nature

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With his square, bulldoggish stature, signature rimless glasses, and inimitable smilea€”part grimace, part snarla€”Theodore Roosevelt was an unforgettable figure, imprinted on the American memory through photographs, the chiseled face of Mount Rushmore, and, especially, film. At once a hunter, explorer, naturalist, woodsman, and rancher, Roosevelt was the quintessential frontiersman, a man who believed that only nature could truly test and prove the worth of man. A documentary he made about his 1909 African safari embodied aggressive ideas of masculinity, power, racial superiority, and the connection between nature and manifest destiny. These ideas have since been reinforced by othersa€”Jesse a€œBuff aloa€ Jones, Paul Rainey, Martin and Osa Johnson, and Walt Disney. Using Roosevelt as a starting point, filmmaker and scholar Ronald Tobias traces the evolution of American attitudes toward nature, attitudes that remain, to this day, remarkably conflicted, complex, and instilled with dreams of empire.The Mountain Gorilla diorama further reinforces its truth claims by telling the audience that in1926 Carl Akeleywas ... The purpose ofthe diorama, according tothe AMNH, a€œis to recreate that personal encounter with wildlifeor with animals in theanbsp;...

Title:Film and the American Moral Vision of Nature
Author:Ronald B. Tobias
Publisher:MSU Press - 2011-06-01


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