Post-9/11 Cinema: Through a Lens Darkly [NOOK Book]

Overview

In contemporary society, cinema has become a primary way in which people gain knowledge about events taking place in the world. Films often go beyond news reports by showing in-depth, behind-the-scenes footage, whether in a documentary or recreated in fictional features. More than fleeting scenes of events shown on the nightly news, a film can influence people's feelings about war and what our political leaders should do about it. This has ...
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Post-9/11 Cinema: Through a Lens Darkly

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Overview

In contemporary society, cinema has become a primary way in which people gain knowledge about events taking place in the world. Films often go beyond news reports by showing in-depth, behind-the-scenes footage, whether in a documentary or recreated in fictional features. More than fleeting scenes of events shown on the nightly news, a film can influence people's feelings about war and what our political leaders should do about it. This has certainly been the case since the attack on 9/11 and the subsequent incursions into Iraq and Afghanistan.

In Post-9/11 Cinema: Through a Lens Darkly, John Markert takes a close look at the films depicting these events. Covering cinematic portrayals of 9/11 and the attacks that followed, this book examines both dramas and documentaries that depict what some have termed "Bush's war," as well as rebuttal films, films about terrorist activities, and films seen from the vantage point of journalists and military personnel. Post-9/11 Cinema not only shows how motion pictures reflect societal values but also how such works can influence social attitudes and thus promote change. In addition, Markert appraises the film industry and critiques how images are manipulated to sway the viewer to appreciate the side being advocated.

Examining such dramas as The Messenger, Stop-Loss, The Lucky Ones, In the Valley of Elah, and The Hurt Locker, as well as documentaries including Fahrenheit 9/11, Soldiers of Conscience, and Taxi to the Dark Side, Post-9/11 Cinema is a valuable read for professors of media and mass communication, popular culture, and film studies, as well as cultural sociologists.
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Editorial Reviews

Choice
Sociologist Markert (Cumberland Univ.) examines 210 feature-length films and documentaries depicting 9/11 and the subsequent military interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq. He divides these films into three categories: dealing with the enemy; depicting 9/11 events; and, the largest category, the war on the ground. Markert begins with a discussion of reflection/refraction theories exploring the extent to which film both mirrors and shapes societal values and attitudes. Next comes a dialectical film analysis focusing on three time periods: early post-9/11 films appearing between 2001 and 2004, which are primarily concerned with demonizing the enemy and commemorating the heroics of the victims and those rendering assistance; a transitional period between 2004 and 2005, when films began providing an alternative interpretation of the war; and finally, post-2006 films, of which the vast majority provide a darker, more critical, nuanced analysis of US involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan. While it is difficult to argue that films changed social attitudes, Markert demonstrates how films, especially documentaries, contributed to the public debate by maintaining interest and providing a dissenting perspective that eventually countered the war on terror and weapons of mass destruction rhetoric of the Bush administration. A welcome addition to mass media, film studies, and cultural sociology collections. Summing Up: Recommended. All levels/libraries.
CHOICE
Sociologist Markert (Cumberland Univ.) examines 210 feature-length films and documentaries depicting 9/11 and the subsequent military interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq. He divides these films into three categories: dealing with the enemy; depicting 9/11 events; and, the largest category, the war on the ground. Markert begins with a discussion of reflection/refraction theories exploring the extent to which film both mirrors and shapes societal values and attitudes. Next comes a dialectical film analysis focusing on three time periods: early post-9/11 films appearing between 2001 and 2004, which are primarily concerned with demonizing the enemy and commemorating the heroics of the victims and those rendering assistance; a transitional period between 2004 and 2005, when films began providing an alternative interpretation of the war; and finally, post-2006 films, of which the vast majority provide a darker, more critical, nuanced analysis of US involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan. While it is difficult to argue that films changed social attitudes, Markert demonstrates how films, especially documentaries, contributed to the public debate by maintaining interest and providing a dissenting perspective that eventually countered the war on terror and weapons of mass destruction rhetoric of the Bush administration. A welcome addition to mass media, film studies, and cultural sociology collections. Summing Up: Recommended. All levels/libraries.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780810881358
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/5/2011
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 392
  • File size: 26 MB
  • Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author

John Markert is associate professor of sociology at Cumberland University and has published numerous articles analyzing aspects of the media. He is the author of The Social Impact of Sexual Harassment (2010).
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Table of Contents

Preface
Introduction
Chapter 1: Cinema Simplicity: Heroes and Villains
Chapter 2: The Cinematic Dialectic: Movies Begin to Debate the War(s)
Chapter 3: The Dialectic Rages On: Documentary Films 2006-2010
Chapter 4: Fictional Features Belatedly Appear
Chapter 5: Conclusion
Selected Bibliography
Index
About the Author
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