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Reel Power

Reel Power

Hollywood Cinema and American Supremacy

by Matthew Alford

Foreword by Michael Parenti

Shows that, despite its reputation as a stronghold of left-liberal ideals, Hollywood is in fact deeply complicit in serving US political interests.
Hollywood is often characterised as a stronghold of left-liberal ideals. In Reel Power, Matthew Alford shows that it is in fact deeply complicit in serving the interests of the most regressive US corporate and political forces.

Films like Transformers, Terminator: Salvation and Black Hawk Down are constructed with Defence Department assistance as explicit cheerleaders for the US military, but Matthew Alford also emphasises how so-called 'radical' films like Three Kings, Hotel Rwanda and Avatar present watered-down alternative visions of American politics that serve a similar function.

Reel Power is the first book to examine the internal workings of contemporary Hollywood as a politicised industry as well as scores of films across all genres. No matter what the progressive impulses of some celebrities and artists, Alford shows how they are part of a system that is hard-wired to encourage American global supremacy and frequently the use of state violence.

Matthew Alford is the author of Reel Power: Hollywood Cinema and American Supremacy (Pluto, 2010). He has written for the Guardian, New Statesman and the BBC. He has also lectured at the Universities of Bath and Bristol.

Michael Parenti is an award-winning author, scholar, and lecturer. He is the author of God and His Demons (2010), Contrary Notions: The Michael Parenti Reader (2007), The Culture Struggle (2006), The Assassination of Julius Caesar (2003), and Democracy for the Few, 9th edition (2010).

'A laudable study ... an eye opening exposé ... you'll watch the next gung-ho blockbuster a little closer' - Total Film 'The Hollywood myth is that its films are just 'entertainment'. Far from it. The author shows that American industrial cinema propagates ideas favourable to its right wing establishment. Read this book before you see the next blockbuster' - Ken Loach 'Formidable... absolutely fascinating' - Tony Benn 'An outstanding contribution to the literature on media and popular culture' - Carl Boggs, co-author, The Hollywood War Machine, and author, The Crimes of Empire (Pluto, 2010) 'A powerful indictment of Hollywood's hidden foreignpolicy. It was a real eye-opener even for me, a long-time critic of thecosy relationship between Hollywood and the Pentagon' - David Robb, investigative journalist and author of Operation Hollywood: How the Pentagon Shapes and Censors the Movies (2004). 'Well written, well researched, and deals with a less than palatable subject matter' - Tom Rolf, Editor on Jacob's Ladder and Co-Editor on Heat and Taxi Driver This pithy and engaging book puts the Hollywood menu under the microscope. A must-read for film buff and scholar alike' - Alison Edgley, author of The Social and Political Thought of Noam Chomsky (2000) 'A must read when researching Hollywood!' - Michael Sands, Los Angeles celebrity media consultant 'No nonsense; excellent structure and outstanding research' - Jack Shaheen, author of Reel Bad Arabs 'Really exciting... terrific on many levels' - Haskell Wexler
PART ONE: CONTROLLING THE DREAM FACTORY
1. Hollywood Screened
2. Hollywood Deactivated
PART TWO: POWER PROJECTED
3. War Films
4. Comedies
5. Action Adventure
6. Science Fiction
7. Political Drama
8. The Low Budget Battlefield
PART THREE: REEL VIOLENCE
9. Conclusions
Endnotes
Filmography
Index
Published by Pluto Press in Aug 2010
Paperback ISBN: 9780745329826
eBook ISBN: 9781783714445

240 pages

135mm x 215mm