Cinema Wars. Hollywood Film and Politics in the Bush-Cheney Era

  • ID: 2249027
  • Book
  • 296 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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Cinema Wars explores the intersection of film, politics, and US culture and society through a bold analysis of the films, TV shows, and documentaries produced in the early 2000s. FromNo Country for Old Men toThe Passion of the Christ and Hollywood depictions of 9/11, Douglas Kellner′s fascinating exploration of contemporary cinema demonstrates that in a time of unparalleled cultural turbulence and military conflict, Hollywood film has been a contested terrain between conservative and liberal forces.

Examining a wide range of films, genres, and filmmakers, Cinema Wars documents how many popular films have reproduced conservative and militarist discourses that replicate the positions of the Bush–Cheney regime, while others have criticized and satirized the conservative administration. From historical dramas like Good Night, and Good Luck to provocative documentaries such as Bowling for Columbine and An Inconvenient Truth, Kellner shows how Hollywood film in the 2000s has brought to life a vibrant array of social protest and helped create the cultural conditions for the election of Barack Obama.

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Acknowledgments vii

List of Plates ix

Introduction: Film, Politics, and Society 1

Hollywood Film as a Contested Terrain 2

Cinema, Politics, and Social History: From Cinematic Realism to Allegory 13

Hollywood Film and the Contemporary Moment: Signs of the Times 18

Reading Film Diagnostically: Imagining Obama 34

In This Book 40

1 Confronting the Horrors of the Bush–Cheney Era: From Documentary to Allegory 51

The Golden Age of Documentary 52

Real Disaster Films: From An Inconvenient Truth and Environmental Documentaries to Animated Allegories 71

Allegories of Catastrophe: Social Apocalypse in Disaster, Horror, and Fantasy Films 80

2 Hollywood’s 9/11 and Spectacles of Terror 98

9/11 as Disaster Film and Spectacle of Terror 99

Representations of 9/11 in Hollywood Film: United 93

and World Trade Center 101

Disney Television Republican Propaganda:The Path to 9/11 108

Hollywood′s Terror War 118

3 Michael Moore′s Provocations 132

Michael Moore, Emile de Antonio, and the Politics of Documentary Film 133

Roger and Me and the Documentary of Personal Witnessing 136

Bowling For Columbine and Exploratory Documentary Montage 140

Fahrenheit 9/11 and Partisan Interventionist Cinema 146

Sicko and the Michael Moore Genre 155

4 Hollywood Political Critiques of the Bush–Cheney Regime: From Thrillers to Fantasy and Satire 163

The Hollywood Political Thriller Against the Bush–Cheney Regime 165

Star Wars Prequels as Anti–Bush–Cheney Allegory 173

From Satire to Dystopia 183

5 The Cinematic Iraq War 199

Documenting Iraq 200

Interpreting the Iraq Fiasco 208

Iraq and Its Aftermath in Fiction Films 219

Conclusion: Hollywood Cinema Wars in the 2000s 239

Critical Representations 240

History Lessons 250

Final Reflections 258

References 262

Index 269

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Douglas M. Kellner
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