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Graffiti in Rome

"Beneath the boardwalk, the beach."
Photograph of Situationist graffiti, Paris 1968


The term graffiti is the plural of graffito, although the singular form is less commonly used. Both words have been borrowed from the Italian language, and along with the English word "graphic", are in turn derived from the Greek ??????? (graphein), meaning to write. In its modern day use, refers to deliberate human markings on property. Graffiti can take the form of art, drawings, or words, and is often illegal, especially when done without the property owner's consent. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graffiti_art [Dec 2004]

Situationism, Paris

The most identifiable signs in Paris of 1968 were posters and graffiti inspired by the Situationist International. Their cryptic phrases were the perfect medium for this revolt. Slogans like DEMAND THE IMPOSSIBLE or IMAGINATION IS SEIZING POWER inverted conventional logic: they made complex ideas suddenly seem very simple. For the bored students in Croydon, the revolt at the Sorbonne in Paris acted as a starting pistol. Some students, beneath them Malcolm McLaren and Jamie Reid, were involved in a sit-in that developed in Croydon --http://www.mital-u.ch/PunkWave/j_reid.html [Mar 2006]

American Graffiti (1973) - George Lucas

  1. American Graffiti (1973) - George Lucas [Amazon.com]
    Here's how critic Roger Ebert described the unique and lasting value of George Lucas's 1973 box-office hit, American Graffiti: "[It's] not only a great movie but a brilliant work of historical fiction; no sociological treatise could duplicate the movie's success in remembering exactly how it was to be alive at that cultural instant." The time to which Ebert and the film refers is the summer of 1962, and American Graffiti captures the look, feel, and sound of that era by chronicling one memorable night in the lives of several young Californians on the cusp of adulthood. (In essence, Lucas was making a semiautobiographical tribute to his own days as a hot-rod cruiser, and the film's phenomenal success paved the way for Star Wars.) The action is propelled by the music of Wolfman Jack's rock & roll radio show--a soundtrack of pop hits that would become as popular as the film itself. As Lucas develops several character subplots, American Graffiti becomes a flawless time capsule of meticulously re-created memory, as authentic as a documentary and vividly realized through innovative use of cinematography and sound. The once-in-a-lifetime ensemble cast members inhabit their roles so fully that they don't seem like actors at all, comprising a who's who of performers--some of whom went on to stellar careers--including Ron Howard, Richard Dreyfuss, Harrison Ford, Cindy Williams, Mackenzie Phillips, Charles Martin Smith, Candy Clark, and Paul Le Mat. A true American classic, the film ranks No. 77 on the American Film Institute's list of all-time greatest American movies. --Jeff Shannon

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