|My heart just about bursts when this scene comes on in It's a Wonderful Life|
"For movies, the one I always pick is It’s a Wonderful Life, not because I’m sure it’s my absolute favorite, but because I’m sure I love it, and because its status as a holiday chestnut has denied it the full appreciation it deserves. It contains so many multitudes – it’s political and religious and psychological; it’s a celebration of the American dream and an incredibly dark examination of its underside; it’s appreciation of small town life and a Sherwood-Anderson-esque critique; it’s Death of a Salesman with a eucatastrophic ending...
...If I were giving a foreigner a crash-course in American culture, I’d make them watch “It’s a Wonderful Life” and assign them The Great Gatsby. That’s really all you need — one’s a tragicomedy and the other’s a tragedy, but they both have so much of the American light and dark, together, intermingled."I tend to agree with his assessment because I'm obsessed with Gatsby, too, but would love to hear what ONE movie and ONE book YOU would give a foreigner to understand American culture.
Comment below. I'd love to hear some good discussion on this topic!