Post-9/11 Cinema: Through a Lens Darkly

Post-9/11 Cinema: Through a Lens Darkly

John Markert

Language: English

Pages: 392

ISBN: 0810881349

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


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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Children 18, no. 1 (2008): 11–37. 7. The MRI study indicated the most common nonmedia activity to engage in while simultaneously using media is chores, but never defined chores or provided a statistical breakdown. Mediamark Research and Intelligence, “Media Multitasking Usually Exception, Not Rule.” 8. Aviva W. Rosenstein and August E. Grant, “Reconceptualizing the Role of Habit: A New Model of Television Audience Activity,” Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media 41, no. 3 (1997): 324–44;

no context, so the punishment is not related to the seriousness of the offense; the viewer is led to conclude that it is likely for some trivial thing, like a grammar mistake. • A public beheading is shown. It is from Saudi Arabia, not Iraq. • A stoning is depicted which is described as “extremely barbaric.” Such a method of punishment may be barbaric to Western eyes but it is a common method of punishment in Arabic culture, much as hangings (Utah) and the electric chair are in the United States

reporting the news. This is clearly seen on Fox, which caters to a right-wing conservative audience, and thus casts the news in a similar format (see Outfoxed); this is also seen on CNN and BBC, which has a more liberal-leaning audience and so interprets events to cater to them.61 This does not mean that the news outlet overtly manipulates the news to kowtow to its audience. It is done much more subtly than this, as Herbert Gans showed some time ago in his landmark media study, Deciding What’s

medicines that are in short supply but which are necessary if Vittoria is to survive. These are the endless series of cockamamie adventures that Thomas lamented. And Thomas is right, they are cockamamie. Nevertheless, there are a number of scenes that are of interest for presenting a face of the war seldom seen in the United States, even in 2006—the film was released by Warner Brothers in Rome in 2005 but did not open in the United States until late 2006. Attilio calls Fuad when, after a series

longtime friends who join the group together because they do things together and this seemed a good idea at the time. The strength of friendship bonds are made clear in a scene where they are separated after being fitted with their vests. The recruiters think Said might have been captured and betrayed them. Khaled emphatically denies this would happen and has to find him because he might accidentally discharge his vest. They remain together to the very end. At least until the final scene where

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