Cinema Wars: Hollywood Film and Politics in the Bush-Cheney Era / Edition 1

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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 Bush-Cheney era of the 2000s. From No Country for Old Men to The Passion of the Christ and Hollywood depictions of 9/11 and Iraq, Douglas Kellner's fascinating exploration of contemporary cinema demonstrates that in a time a unparalleled political, social, and 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 Fahrenheit 9/11 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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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Notwithstanding the lack of surprise, Kellner is alwayschallenging and provocative, and for that reason alone, Cinema Warsis worth reading." (Historical Journal of Film, Radio andTelevision, 1 June 2011)

"This volume will be a valuable source ... .The provocativepolitical stances taken and wide range of films discussed here willstimulate debate for academics and students alike." (TimesHigher Education, February 2010)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781405198233
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 1/7/2010
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 296
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Douglas Kellner is George Kneller Chair of Philosophy of Education at UCLA. He is the author of many books on social theory, politics, history, and culture, including Camera Politica: The Politics and Ideology of Contemporary Hollywood Film, co-authored with Michael Ryan, and Media Spectacle and the Crisis of Democracy. He is the co-editor of Media and Cultural Studies Keyworks (Wiley-Blackwell 2006). Kellner's most recent book is Guys and Guns Amok: Domestic Terrorism and School Shootings from the Oklahoma City Bombings to the Virginia Tech Massacre. His website is at

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Table of Contents

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 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 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 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: HollywoodCinema Wars in the 2000s 239

Critical Representations 240

History Lessons 250

Final Reflections 258

References 262

Index 269

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2013

    A rant but a more or less valid one

    The author offers us a polemic with some good points about Mel Gibson and the Saw films and Nolans Batman films

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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