Some shows and films evoke the 1960s while others reflect anxiety, with artists choosing between escapism and grim reality.

This article titled “US searches for a cultural response to economic hardship” was written by Paul Harris in New York, for The Observer on Sunday 13th November 2011 00.07 UTC

By any standards, watching Jeff Nichols's much lauded film Take Shelter is a haunting experience. Its central character, Curtis LaForche, a working-class Midwesterner trying to hold on to his family, job and sanity in rural Ohio, is increasingly plagued by apocalyptic dreams that seem to be leaching into the real world.

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