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.
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