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

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

Douglas M. Kellner

ISBN: 978-1-444-36049-3

Sep 2011

296 pages

$35.99

Description

Cinema Wars explores the intersection of film, politics, and US culture and society through a bold critical analysis of the films, TV shows, and documentaries produced in the early 2000s
  • Offers a thought-provoking depiction of Hollywood film as a contested terrain between conservative and liberal forces
  • Films and documentaries discussed include: Black Hawk Down, The Dark Knight, Star Wars, Syriana, WALL-E, Fahrenheit 9/11 and other Michael Moore documentaries, amongst others
  • Explores how some films in this era supported the Bush-Cheney regime, while others criticized the administration, openly or otherwise
  • Investigates Hollywood’s treatment of a range of hot topics, from terrorism and environmental crisis to the Iraq war and the culture wars of the 2000s
  • Shows how Hollywood film in the 2000s brought to life a vibrant array of social protest and helped create cultural conditions to elect Barack Obama
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

""Notwithstanding the lack of surprise, Kellner is always challenging and provocative, and for that reason alone, Cinema Wars is worth reading."" (Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, 1 June 2011)

""This volume will be a valuable source ... .The provocative political stances taken and wide range of films discussed here will stimulate debate for academics and students alike."" (Times Higher Education, February 2010)

  • Offers a thought-provoking depiction of Hollywood film as a contested terrain between conservative and liberal forces
  • Films and documentaries discussed include: Black Hawk Down, The Dark Knight, Star Wars, Syriana, WALL-E, Fahrenheit 9/11 and other Michael Moore documentaries, and many more.
  • Explores how some films in this era were supportive of the Bush-Cheney regime, while others criticized the administration, openly or otherwise
  • Investigates Hollywood’s treatment of a range of hot topics, from terrorism and environmental crisis to the Iraq war and the culture wars of the 2000s.
  • Shows how Hollywood film in the 2000s brought to life a vibrant array of social protest and helped create cultural conditions to elect Barack Obama