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Ellen Willis

Fascinating “Fascism”: the Other F Word in Seventies Cultural Criticism

I’ve been reading a lot of movie and music reviews from the 1970s recently. Somewhat to my surprise, I keep bumping into accusations of fascism.  The most famous instance of this is probably Pauline Kael’s review of Dirty Harry, which appeared in The New Yorker on January 15, 1972.  Among other things, Kael called the film “deeply immoral” and accused it of “fascist medievalism.” But Kael was not alone in using the “f” word to describe Dirty Harry.  Roger Ebert’s review of the film (which appears on his website labeled January 1, 1971, but which must have run January 1, Read more