Middle East Studies
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A 'Toxic Genre'
The Iraq War Films
- ISBN: 9780745331294
- Extent: 216pp
- Release Date: 03 Jun 2011
- Size: 215mm x 135mm
- Format: Paperback
- Illustrations: 16 photographs
- Category: Middle East Studies
Over the last five years, a cycle of films has emerged addressing the ongoing Iraq conflict. Some became well-known and one of them, The Hurt Locker, won a string of Oscars. But many others disappeared into obscurity. What is it about these films that led Variety to dub them a 'toxic genre'?
Martin Barker analyses the production and reception of these recent Iraq war films. Among the issues he examines are the borrowing of soldiers’ YouTube styles of self-representation to generate an ‘authentic’ Iraq experience, and how they take refuge in ‘apolitical’ post-traumatic stress disorder. Barker also looks afresh at some classic issues in film theory: the problems of accounting for film ‘failures’, the shaping role of production systems, the significance of genre-naming and the impact of that 'toxic' label.
A 'Toxic Genre' is fascinating reading for film studies students and anyone interested in cinema's portrayal of modern warfare.
About The Author
Martin Barker is Research Professor at Aberystwyth University. He has researched and published widely on topics ranging from comic books, censorship campaigns, arguments over ‘dangerous media’, methods of film analysis, and audiences for films ranging from Judge Dredd and Crash to Being John Malkovich and The Lord of the Rings.