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Mac323 Hollywood's war on terror

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Mac323 Hollywood's war on terror

  1. 1. Hollywood’s ‘War on Terror’ mac323 robert.jewitt@sunderland.ac.uk 1
  2. 2. Vietnam (1955-75)• Hollywood initially reluctant to address Vietnam on screen• Most Hollywood depictions came after conflict ended – The Green Berets (1968) 2
  3. 3. Notable titles• The Deer Hunter (1978, M. Cimino)• Apocalypse Now (1979, F. F. Coppela)• First Blood (1982, T. Kotcheff)• Uncommon Valor (1983, T. Kotcheff)• Missing in Action (1984, J. Zito)• Platoon (1986, O. Stone)• Full Metal Jacket (1987, S. Kubrick)• Hamburger Hill (1987, J. Irvin)• The Hanoi Hilton (1987, L. Chetwynd)• Bat*21 (1988, P. Markle)• Casualties of War (1989, B. de Palma)• Born of the Fourth of July (1989, O. Stone) 3
  4. 4. Iraq: Gulf War I (1991)• “By God, we’ve kicked the Vietnam syndrome once and for all!” – President George Bush victory speech (March 1st 1991) • Remarks to the American Legislative Exchange Council. Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States. George Bush Presidential Library 4
  5. 5. Iraq: Gulf War II• “Hollywood’s ‘cowardice’ over Vietnam was well-remembered, but there was a feeling that this time, perhaps, the studios might live up to their (partly deserved) reputation for liberalism, and opposition to George W. Bush and his cronies” – Martin Barker, 2011: 1 5
  6. 6. The view from the…Left Right• Lessons of the past learned • Hollywood is a nest of• Truth would not be allowed ‘vipers’ to emerge • Full of liberals and radicals• Veteran’s voices would be • Celebrate militarism censored • Jingoistic 6
  7. 7. The ‘War on Terror’• A contentious phrase• AKA the ‘Global War on Terror’• First scripted use by George W Bush on September 20th 2001 in a televised address to Congress: – “Our war on terror begins with al-Qaeda, but it does not end there. It will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped and defeated”• A war without end…• Refers to a global military, political, legal and ideological struggle to target terrorist organisations and the regimes that underpin them 7
  8. 8. ‘Overseas Contingency Operation’• Name officially changed in March 2009 by Defense Department 8
  9. 9. Rhetorical war• The ‘war on terrorism’ therefore, is a set of actual practices – wars, covert operations, agencies and institutions – and an accompanying series of assumptions, beliefs, justification and narratives – it is an entire language or discourse … Language and practice, in other words are inextricably linked; they mutually reinforce each other; together they co-constitute social and political reality. – Richard Jackson, 2005: 7-8 9
  10. 10. Hollywood’s 2 approachesLiteral Allegoric• The Jacket (2005) • Team America: World Police• Home of the Brave (2006) (2004)• Battle for Haditha (2007) • Saw (2004)• In The Valley of Elah (2007) • Hostel (2005)• The Kingdom (2007) • Jarhead (2005)• Lions for Lambs (2007) • Syriana (2005)• Redacted (2007) • 28 Weeks Later (2007)• Rendition (2007) • The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)• Stop-Loss (2008)• Body of Lies (2008) • Transformers (2007)• The Hurt Locker (2008) • The Dark Knight (2008)• Green Zone (2010) • Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo (2008) 10
  11. 11. Hollywood’s 2 approachesLiteral Allegoric• The Jacket (2005) • Team America: World Police• Home of the Brave (2006) (2004)• Battle for Haditha (2007) • Saw (2004)• In The Valley of Elah (2007) • Hostel (2005)• The Kingdom (2007) • Jarhead (2005)• Lions for Lambs (2007) • Syriana (2005)• Redacted (2007) • 28 Weeks Later (2007)• Rendition (2007) • The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)• Stop-Loss (2008)• Body of Lies (2008) • Transformers (2007)• The Hurt Locker (2008) • The Dark Knight (2008)• Green Zone (2010) • Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo (2008) 11
  12. 12. The Dark Knight• "We also have to work through, sort of, the dark side, if you will. Weve got to spend time in the shadows in the intelligence world. A lot of what needs to be done here will have to be done quietly, without any discussion, using sources and methods that are available to our intelligence agencies, if were going to be successful.” 12
  13. 13. The Dark Knight• "We also have to work through, sort of, the dark side, if you will. Weve got to spend time in the shadows in the intelligence world. A lot of what needs to be done here will have to be done quietly, without any discussion, using sources and methods that are available to our intelligence agencies, if were going to be successful.”• Not Batman…. 13
  14. 14. The Dark Knight• "We also have to work through, sort of, the dark side, if you will. Weve got to spend time in the shadows in the intelligence world. A lot of what needs to be done here will have to be done quietly, without any discussion, using sources and methods that are available to our intelligence agencies, if were going to be successful.”• Not Batman….• Dick Cheney (Vice President) – See Ackerman, 2008 for more 14
  15. 15. The Dark Knight 15
  16. 16. Team America: World Police 16
  17. 17. Hostel 17
  18. 18. 28 Weeks Later 18
  19. 19. Title Year Budget ($) US gross ($)Jarhead 2005 70 million 62.6 millionSyriana 2005 50 million 50.1 millionThe Jacket 2005 29 million 7 millionHome of the Brave 2006 12 million 41,000The Situation 2006 1 million 48,000GI Jesús 2006 2 million 8,000The Marine 2006 20 million 18 millionBadland 2007 10 million 1,900Battle for Haditha 2007 3 milion 7,000Grace is Gone 2007 2 million 50,000In The Valley of Elah 2007 23 million 6.7 millionThe Kingdom 2007 80 million 47 millionLions for Lambs 2007 35 million 15 millionRedacted 2007 5 million 65,000Rendition 2007 27 million 9 millionConspiracy 2008 18 million 0The Lucky Ones 2008 15 million 183,000Stop-Loss 2008 29 million 11 millionWar, Inc. 2008 10 million 578,000Body of Lies 2008 70 million 39 millionThe Objective 2008 4 million 95The Hurt Locker 2008 11 million 12.5 millionGreen Zone 2010 100 million 35 million 19
  20. 20. Jarhead 20
  21. 21. Jarhead 21
  22. 22. Battle for Haditha 22
  23. 23. Battle for Haditha 23
  24. 24. Green Zone 24
  25. 25. Hurt Locker• Car bomb scene http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=dQv6GJyE8YM• Ending? http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=tqn-tSa1wYY 25
  26. 26. To consider• What is the discourse of the Iraq war series of films?• Are they pro-war? Anti-war? Celebrations of machismo and militarism? Critical of soldiers? Critical of the Bush-Cheney administration?• Are the literal films better at their job than the allegorical ones? 26

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