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Justify the Conclusion. The correct answer choice is (E)
This is a perfect example of a stimulus that rewards observant test-takers for focusing only on the information that matters. Because the author only concludes that the film historians' second criticism of Depression-era filmmakers is not accurate, you need not worry about the first criticism\96 its purpose is merely to slow you down, not help you answer the question. This simple observation can help you eliminate answer choices (B), (C), and (D) relatively quickly.
To summarize the film historians' second criticism, they accused Depression-era filmmakers of self-indulgently creating films that reflected their own dreams and desires. In defending these filmmakers, the author observed that they merely provided what their audiences most wanted in a film, and so could not have acted self-indulgently. The logical question you should ask yourself is, why not? Is it not possible that providing one's audience with what they want is self-indulgent in itself? To ensure the logical cohesion of the author's conclusion, the correct answer choice must therefore establish that it is never self-indulgent for a filmmaker to give an audience what it really wants. Answer choice (E) is therefore correct.
Answer choice (A): It is impossible to prove the conclusion of an argument dealing with the past by extending a recommendation as to what filmmakers should or should not do in the future. This answer choice is irrelevant and incorrect.
Answer choice (B): This answer choice deals with the film historians' first criticism of the filmmakers, not the second.
Answer choice (C): Again, the element of "status quo" is plays a role in the film historians' first criticism of the filmmakers, not the second.
Answer choice (D): Since the argument only concerns Depression-era filmmakers who made films for profit, this answer choice is irrelevant. Furthermore, it deals only with the film historians' first criticism of the filmmakers, not the second.
Answer choice (E): This is the correct answer choice. See discussion above.