Politics Goes to the Movies introduces the topic of political representation and ideology by analyzing some of the most important politically themed films across the history of cinema in a refreshing and concise volume. Offering a survey of political cinema from 1915 to present day, topics include: propaganda, Communism, Fascism, revolutionary cinema, and contemporary documentary. Using individual case studies that begin with The Birth of a Nation and end with O.J.: Made in America, the book introduces how various strands of international politics have been woven through the fabric of cinema by contextualizing each film in its particular historical moment. In addition, Robert Kolker offers formal analyses that explore not only overtly political themes but also how the structural properties of a film can themselves be political—how political films are made, politically.
Including films produced across Europe, North Africa, the US, and Latin America, this accessible and engaging book is an ideal introductory text for students of political cinema.
Table of Contents
List of figures
Chapter 1: Populism, race, and The Birth of a Nation (1915)
Chapter 2: Revolution!: Battleship Potemkin (1925)
Chapter 3: Leni Riefenstahl and "Fascinating Fascism": Triumph of the Will (1935)
Chapter 4: American democracy and Frank Capra: Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)
Chapter 5: Revolution in the 1960s: The Battle of Algiers (1966)
Chapter 6: Revolutionary cinema in Latin America: Lucía (1968)
Chapter 7: Politics and the apocalypse: Weekend (1967)
Chapter 8: Reflections on Fascism: The Conformist (1970)
Chapter 9: The Cold War, part one: science fiction and Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)
Chapter 10: The Cold War, part two: Point of Order (1964) and Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)
Chapter 11: Hollywood and the blacklist: Salt of the Earth (1954)
Chapter 12: Paranoia and political assassination: JFK (1991)
Chapter 13: Contemporary American politics: documentaries
Chapter 14: Contemporary American politics: new channels
Robert P. Kolker is author of A Cinema of Loneliness; The Altering Eye: Contemporary International Cinema; Bernardo Bertolucci; The Cultures of American Film; Film, Form, and Culture; and The Extraordinary Image: Orson Welles, Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick, and the Reimagining of Cinema; and is co-author with Nathan Abrams of Eyes Wide Shut: Stanley Kubrick and the Making of His Final Film (forthcoming). He is Professor Emeritus at the University of Maryland.