This site accompanies the exhibition Position and Imposition: MCAD Faculty Responds to Politics at the Minneapolis College of Art & Design. It is a forum for MCAD's Liberal Arts faculty to recommend books, films, and other cultural artifacts that contribute to the dialogue surrounding the exhibition. We invite you to comment on the books, the work in the exhibition, and address how they are part of a larger conversation about art, politics, and society.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Thomas Pope

The first great cultural artifact is also the greatest cultural artifact -- The Iliad, by Homer. Not only is it the greatest long poem ever written, the mid-wife to history, the precursor to the novel, and the truest war story ever conceived, it is also the first examination of (indeed, it is the inventor of) individual personalities, and of how their interactions affect and define political decisions. Homer's astounding ability to mix great events with specific personalities, the large with the small, lends a tragic perspective to all human endeavors. It shows how hard-edged poltitical decisions are typically informed by individual ego, the heroic with the tragic, the magnificent with the pitiable, in a manner which is at once hypnotic in its rhythms, and majestic in its sweep.

[[ Thomas Pope has worked for 30 years as a professional screenwriter. He has worked with Francis Coppola, Ridley Scott, Robert Redford, Frank Oz, Penny Marshall, Wim Wenders and many others. He has worked on Someone to Watch Over Me, F/X, Lords of Discipline, Hammett, and many others. His book, Good Scripts, Bad Scripts, examines good and bad screenwriting. He was script consultant and co-producer on Sweet Land, which was on numerous top ten lists in 2007.]]

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