War films and American Culture

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“I’ve Got a Hunch We’re Going Around in Circles”: Exceptions to American Exceptionalism in Hollywood Korean War Films

“I’ve Got a Hunch We’re Going Around in Circles”: Exceptions to American Exceptionalism in Hollywood Korean War Films

Abstract: Hollywood Korean War films primarily aimed at integrating American citi- zenry into national narratives of cohesion and teleology by displacing contradictions onto the exteriority of American identity. The films dismiss the Korean War as not worth fighting for, yet simultaneously propose that fighting is the only viable option to cope with the futility of war. This paper argues that this closed rationality of we-fight- simply-because-we-fight is a symptom of cold war liberalism. And the cold war sub- ject, caught in the circular movement of finding-while-missing the meaning, prefigures a postmodern subject of drive that transcends the fundamental lack in the process of subjectivization and finds satisfaction in the endless circular movement with no desti- nation. Crucially, American exceptionalism functions as the state fantasy in this pro- cess of denying/displacing inconsistencies inherent to the imagined national identity. This circular rationality, which constitutes the paradigmatic subject-position of late- capitalist American culture, was constructed in the early years of the cold war, and its cultural manifestations can be traced in Hollywood films about the Korean War. Keywords: Hollywood Korean War Films, Cold War Liberalism, American Exception- alism, Post-Cold War World Order, Iraq War Films
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The Portrayal of African-American Culture in Films Through the Lens of a Supremacist Hollywood.

The Portrayal of African-American Culture in Films Through the Lens of a Supremacist Hollywood.

population were far from equal to those allocated to the white population. These differences acted as a means of institutionalising and legalising racial discrimination. By 1900 those statutes were fully implemented in all Southern states and had written into law the segregation of black people which would last for another fifty years (Zinn 207). However, the biggest impact of the Civil War would be ‘The Great Migration’ which took place when World War I broke out in Europe in 1914 and due to the need for manpower in the Northern industries, for these two reasons black people started to migrate to the Northern States in search of a better life. By the end of 1919, around one million blacks had left the South and in the decade between 1910 and 1920, the black population in Northern cities grew enormously (‘Great Migration’). As Zinn asserts, while not written into law in the North, racism and segregation were practised there (208); many blacks ended up creating their own cities or ‘ghettos’ within big cities, bringing into being a new urban African-American culture. One of the most important black protest leaders in the United States during the first half of the 20th century was W.E.B. Du Bois (1868-1963), an African-American sociologist, historian, author, editor and activist who, after witnessing the ferocious racism Jim Crow segregation laws promulgated, concluded that social change could be only accomplished through protest. Through his writing, he promoted black nationalism and Pan-Africanism, urging his readers to see “Beauty in black” (Rudwick).
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Glocal Nollywood: The Politics of Culture, Identity, and Migration in African Films Set on American Shores

Glocal Nollywood: The Politics of Culture, Identity, and Migration in African Films Set on American Shores

Though Nollywood films are mainly shot on location in Nige- rian cities and rural villages, the industry has a history of production outside Nigerian borders. One of the first Nollywood films to be shot outside of Nigeria was Kingsley Ogoro’s 2003 transnational comedy Osuofia in London, which tells the story of the titular character’s quest to collect a sizable inheritance from a relative who amassed a fortune in the United Kingdom, died, and left it to Osuofia. Subsequent productions in other nations have expanded the reach of Nollywood to the United States, through- out Africa, and Europe. Notably, Izu Ojukwu’s 2007 production Laviva tells the story of Nigerian peacekeeping soldiers stationed in Liberia during its civil war and Faith Isiakpere’s 2011 film For- eign Demons, a film about misunderstandings between Africans from different nations, was co-produced with his South African wife Firdoze Bulbulia. Nollywood has ventured into the Ukraine for Andrew Rozhen’s Feathered Dreams (2012), a story about a Nigerian medical student (played by Omoni Oboli) who falls in love with a Ukrainian man while dreaming of becoming a singer; the film is a meditation on the plight of Africans adjusting to un- familiar cultures and languages. These films are only a few transnational Nollywood productions that have garnered audience and media attention.
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Nuclear nightmares: representations of nuclear anxiety in American Cold War visual culture

Nuclear nightmares: representations of nuclear anxiety in American Cold War visual culture

Nonetheless, this study adds to the growing field of historical game studies by considering nuclear apocalyptic video games as a representation of contextual nuclear anxieties. The approach taken to analysing the video games in relation to the context of their releases is done using Alexander R. Galloway’s argument regarding social realism in video games, which builds upon social realism in film. Galloway's definition of social realism is applied to this study’s primary games in order to determine their reflections of reality, as well as the analyses of film to allow for a consistent definition of contextual representation. Completely separate from ideas of historical realism which will not be discussed, social realism can be defined using renowned film theorist André Bazin’s definition – a “technique [in film] to approximate the basic phenomenological qualities of the real world”, or in Galloway's words, social realism reflects “real life in all its dirty details, hopeful desires and abysmal defeats”. 1 Galloway contends that, as well as this, in order to determine whether a film or game is socially realist it must be considered in its context otherwise it cannot be considered realist. For example, an American military shooting video game, such as America’s Army (2002), can be described as ‘realistic’ in its portrayal of combat or weaponry but not realist, as to the American public it represents a scenario outside of their context. Nuclear apocalyptic films and games, while inherently fantastical, can utilise multiple elements to create realism, such as Missile Command’s use of real-world weaponry to represent real nuclear anxieties and Wasteland’s real-world inspired geo-political backstory. Galloway’s definition of realism will therefore be used to analyse the extent to which Five, Panic, Missile Command and Wasteland accurately reflect the contextual social-realism of nuclear anxiety in their representations of nuclear war and apocalypse. This offers insight and assists in highlighting the elements of civil defence that persisted and caused it to remain stagnant while nuclear apocalyptic culture continually and effectively reflected shifting nuclear anxieties. Ultimately, Galloway’s definition of social realism indicates the
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The Role of Superman in American Post-War Culture

The Role of Superman in American Post-War Culture

Wehrly '95, Elayne (1995) "The Role of Superman in American Post-War Culture," Undergraduate Review : Vol... The Role of Superman in American Post-War Culture.[r]

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Independent to Imperialist -- The Spanish American War

Independent to Imperialist -- The Spanish American War

destroy all of the Spanish Ships in the Philippines. Talk about how German and English fleets flocked to the area seeing if the United States was going to take over the Philippines or not. If the United States did not they were going to move in for their own purposes.  Ask if America wants to expand during this time period or remain isolationist? Between the Gilded Age and until after World War II there was the discussion of being a world power or should we use the oceans to our advantage and be isolationist.

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American Pediatricians at War: A Legacy of Service

American Pediatricians at War: A Legacy of Service

The Army ’ s deployment of pediatricians to Vietnam to serve as pediatricians was started with the establishment of the Civilian War Casualty Program. As the con fl ict grew in size, the numbers of civilian casualties began to mount. Directive Number 40-14 (MACV-66, sec. 3a) stated: “ Vietnamese civilians in- jured by an instrumentality of the Armed Forces of the United States are authorized complete emergency care, including hospitalization when neces- sary. Care is authorized to be continued until the patient ’ s condition is stabi- lized suf fi ciently to permit discharge or transfer to a civilian hospital or to a civilian facility for convalescence. ” Brigadier General Andre Ognibene com- mented on the roles Army pediatricians played in Vietnam: “ By 1968, all US Army Vietnam (USARV) hospitals accepted Vietnamese civilians on a space-available basis. Pediatricians initially were as- signed to these facilities, but pediatric care never developed beyond a small effort for a limited number of patients. Before the assignment of pediatricians to hospitals, care had been provided by an internist-surgeon team and, when available, a general medical of fi cer with some pediatric training. At the peak of assignment in 1969, six pediatricians were assigned to USARV hospitals, as large a complement as the dermatol- ogy commitment. Their caseload was small, and their time was best spent assisting the internist in adult care. Most pediatric care was provided in the outpatient setting by MEDCAP; indeed most Vietnamese families were reluc- tant to release their children for care FIGURE 6
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Imperialism. The Spanish American War. And. Page1

Imperialism. The Spanish American War. And. Page1

3. Some Americans had businesses in Cuba. What types of businesses were they? And why did this cause the U.S. to become involved? 4. The U.S.S. Maine exploded in Havana harbor. How did this lead to war? Effects of the Spanish American War: 1.

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Turning Points of the American Civil War

Turning Points of the American Civil War

Civil War. Southern Illinois University Press, $24.50 ISBN 9780809336210 Turning points can be tricky things. Witnesses rarely recognize them as such until long after the fact, and each successive generation is likely to have its own favorite anyway. As a grade school Civil War buff touring the Gettysburg battlefield in the Summer of 1963, I stood at the so-called "High Water Mark" while my father pondered the related "might have been" aloud. Not until college – E.B. Long's Civil War course at the University of Wyoming – did I get a whiff of 1864: Grant's butcher bill, Lincoln's political problems, and, thanks to B.H. Liddell Hart, the significance of Atlanta being "ours, and fairly won." So, if Lee's biggest failure and Sherman's most important success were both watersheds, which was the Continental Divide?
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Civil War as Global Conflict: Transnational Meaning of the American Civil War

Civil War as Global Conflict: Transnational Meaning of the American Civil War

The substantive chapters of the collection divide into three sections. The first covers what Gleeson and Lewis refer to as ‘truly global overviews’ of the forces and attitudes that shaped life in the mid-19th century, the second explores specific transnational examples that confirm and complicate these global trends, and the third examines the international significance of particular ‘fields’ related to the American Civil War and its memory that range from international relations and antiracist ideology to nursing and popular culture (p. 6–7). The standard of scholarship on offer is exceptionally high: readable, thoroughly researched, and concise. Certain variations of style and focus emerge in consequence of the range of disciplines represented (and in some cases professions) but this does little to detract from the overall quality of work on display. All contributors have lived up to the goals of the editors in terms of presenting their work in an accessible form that speaks to those without a background in their specialty. And parochial debates are kept to a minimum. Nowhere in this collection, for instance, is there a clear dissection of the differences between, say, global, transnational, or international history. Such a taxonomic explication may have helped clarify the purpose of the collection (especially given the title refers to both a ‘global conflict’ and ‘transnational meanings’) but, equally, it would hardly have helped engage the mixed audience the editors seek to attract.
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The British Isles and the War of American Independence

The British Isles and the War of American Independence

counterpart in the continuing, and not always constructive, debate over the origins of Southern nationalism in the United States. The balance between local loyalties and American nationalism is, similarly, not yet fully understood. American nationalism, indeed, is too readily relegated to second place by scholars who argue that state loyalties took, and take, precedence in the federal system. In this context, Conway's argument for the nationalising effect of 'component patriotisms,' and the way in which he has shown how localism could function within a national context is extremely valuable, and deserves further attention. Conway's work, indeed, certainly deserves a wider readership not just among British historians, but among American historians and scholars of nationalism more generally. The British Isles and the War of American Independence not only presents a succinct and comprehensible survey of a complex period of British history, but has some genuinely original observations to make on the role of warfare in the development of a nation, and the way in which the various component parts of any nation shift around and reconfigure themselves in times of crisis.
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Recruiting in Ireland for the American Civil War

Recruiting in Ireland for the American Civil War

By the time the American Civil War began, Irish soldiers had served for many years in America, Austria, Naples, Russia, Spain, and France, which often meant fighting Britain.1 Ballads of[r]

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An Analysis of American Propaganda in World War II and the Vietnam War

An Analysis of American Propaganda in World War II and the Vietnam War

On February 27, 1968, following his visit to Vietnam, Walter Cronkite closed the CBS Evening News with an editorial regarding the war. Cronkite stated: We have been too often disappointed by the optimism of the American leaders, both in Vietnam and Washington, to have faith any longer in the silver linings they find in the darkest clouds. They may be right, that Hanoi's winter-spring offensive has been forced by the Communist realization that they could not win the longer war of attrition, and that the Communists hope that any success in the offensive will improve their position for eventual negotiations. It would improve their position, and it would also require our realization, that we should have had all along, that any negotiations must be that – negotiations, not the dictation of peace terms. For it seems now more certain than ever that the bloody experience of Vietnam is to end in a stalemate. This summer's almost certain standoff will either end in real give-and-take negotiations or terrible escalation; and for every means we have to escalate, the enemy can match us, and that applies to invasion of the North, the use of nuclear weapons, or the mere commitment of one hundred, or two hundred, or three hundred thousand more American troops to the battle. And with each escalation, the world comes closer to the brink of cosmic disaster.
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The Civil War in the American Ruling Class

The Civil War in the American Ruling Class

The 2016 Democratic Primary provides a good recent example of the tolerable limits for alternatives. Consider that initial predictions gave Bernie Sanders no more than two state victories. Yet, by raising over $228 million with nearly 60% coming from small donations of less than $200 (Open Secrets 2018b), he more than exceeded those expectations. Come the Democratic Convention, Sanders had received around 43% of the total vote and won 23 states with several others virtual ties or near misses. These wins came despite Hillary Clinton’s having every structural advantage that America’s foremost political dynasty could offer, and some allegations – although little evidence – of vote-tampering through state-level procedural discretion. What should have been an easy path to victory for the ruling class was nearly upset by Sanders’ articulation of the connection between social inequality and capitalism, an effective message because most Americans’ lived experience features no recovery, but instead is characterised by pauperisation and class decomposition. Working within the confines of American electoral politics, where form drives substance, Sanders followed a simple but effective strategy of making excessively reasonable moral demands that reform would not provide, thus showing the limitations of the present social structure.
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Review Article: American Civil War

Review Article: American Civil War

infection and could spread quickly. Before November 1863 most deserters simply travelled home by the best routes they could find. A number of states sought to disenfranchize deserters (as they were deemed to have relinquished their citizenship), but only three – Kansas, Wisconsin and Vermont – had a strict code of enforcement: three states that supported Lincoln strongly in the 1864 Presidential Election. After 1865 64 per cent of deserters in the sample moved westwards from their native states. But the whole system was remarkably informal and flexible by later standards. If an absentee returned to the ranks to fight, he would be welcomed back and then honourably discharged. The exception to these high desertion rates were black regiments. By 1865 there were 135 regiments, and of these 35 sustained 75 per cent casualties; even so, the desertion rates were less than 8 per cent; that is, whites were one third more likely to desert than blacks. In summing up a complex matter, Costa and Kahn claim that group loyalties were the main elements that held in check the temptation to desert. Like other scholars (such as McPherson, who now concedes that it was an error), they underestimate the importance of leadership. Costa and Kahn argue on statistical grounds that group loyalty was twice as important as ideology and six times more important than leadership in reducing desertion. Yet I am unconvinced, not least because like many American authors they undervalue the importance of non-commissioned officers in the creation of viable units – a source of leadership more immediately effective than that furnished by officers.
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The long war onscreen: a genre study of the war on terror in American cinema

The long war onscreen: a genre study of the war on terror in American cinema

is rarely about the physical destination of the characters so much as it is what they discover about themselves or each other during the journey. Grace is Gone uses the conventions of the road trip film as both a means of “deploying” Stanley, setting him up to be the “homefront solider” who must reintegrate into civilian society after losing his wife. Stanley is not actually a soldier; he is already settled into civilian society at the beginning of the film. The road trip dislocates Stanley and the girls: if the family remains in a domestic space, then Stanley must confront his grief and his new position within the family hierarchy as a widow and single father without the necessary experiences and encounters that the road trip provides for him. Over the course of their trip, Stanley reveals more sides of himself to his daughters, allowing them to see him as more than the straitlaced paternal figure he is at the beginning of the film. Similarly, Stanley learns more about his daughters: he discovers that Heidi secretly watches news coverage of the war against his wishes, and Dawn struggles with not having her mother at home. The conventions of the road trip film genre require Stanley to discover these things about his family and himself before the end of the trip — the amusement park where he will have to tell his daughters the truth about their mother. As such, the narrative cannot resolve without reintegration: Stanley and the girls cannot return home until Stanley properly confronts his grief and informs his daughters about Grace’s death.
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Place images of the American West in Western films

Place images of the American West in Western films

Other banners simply reference historical events, like the ‘Remember the Maine’ banner in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid that leads the outlaws to divulge their real names to each other and later Butch proposes signing up to fight the Spanish as the duo desperately tries to evade the Super Posse. No matter their purpose or how they are used, banners are visual exposition. They help fill in the temporal (and even spatial) gaps for the viewer without having to use dialogue. In the case of Sundance, I use the small discussion of the Spanish-American War to cement the ‘1898’ temporal setting despite the historical fact that the Hole-in-the-Wall gang did indeed rob the Union Pacific flyer in 1899 and 1900, and was pursued by the Super Posse after that (Hughes, 2008). So this film is somewhat contradictory, because I value one historical event (the sinking of the Maine in February 1898) over another (the gang’s actual larceny history). My reasoning is that I feel more members of the audience would have knowledge of when the Spanish-American War occurred than would be aware of the timeline of Butch and Sundance’s actual outlaw exploits.
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War Films: Narratives in Conflict - A discourse analysis of three films portraying the Internal Conflict in Peru

War Films: Narratives in Conflict - A discourse analysis of three films portraying the Internal Conflict in Peru

The films present a variety of narratives that differ from one another despite drawing from the same event. The diversity in the films signifies the multiplicity of memories that emerge after a conflict. The collective memory is not homogenous and is instead constituted by a variety of narratives that present different perspectives and interpretations. The films represent how the exploration of a perspective depicts a narrative that focuses on different agents. These narratives and their focuses can exclude or contradict others. The film, “La Boca del Lobo” excluded other groups by focusing primarily on members of the Peruvian Armed forces. The inclusion of female narratives in the film, “La Teta Asustada”, presented alternative narratives concerning the emotional trauma of war instead of the physical. The portrayal of the parties included in the films also affects its consumption and how the viewers can relate to them. The films present main characters that the audience that identify and relate in different manners. The film, “Paloma de Papel”, presents an indegenous-rural child characters that the audience can empathize with and even relate nationally due to the film's use of Spanish. The films are all anti-war in some sense, yet they relate in varying ways with the hegemonic discourse of militarism and gender. Militarism was reinforced in some ways such as glorifying masculinities and force as a solution to conflict or by reflecting the gender order sustained in the military institution. This signifies that gender and militarism influence the manner in which the films construct the narratives of war.
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The Youth Image in Chinese and American Youth Films

The Youth Image in Chinese and American Youth Films

Chinese youth films can be traced back to the 1950s. Under the impact of the political environment, like the call for dedicating one’s life to the realization of communism, and later during the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976), youth images in the films are always the representative of revolutionary ideals and the youths are shaped as heroes. Examples are: Five Golden Flowers (1959), The Song of Youth (1959), The Younger Generation (1965), etc. In 1978, market economy was introduced. Subsequently, in the 1980s, Chinese began to free their mind, concentrating on their own life and willing to accept some foreign culture. Consequently, youths in the films have been shaped as rebels and antiauthority teenagers, such as in The Trouble Shooters (1989), Rock kids (1988), In the Heat of the Sun (1995), etc.[Zhou, 2012]. In the films, the youths focus on their own life instead of the development of the country. In the 21 th century, with further development of the market economy and consumerism, youth images in the film have somewhat changed [Yao, 2015].
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"I feel impelled to write": male intimacy, epistolary privacy, and the culture of letter writing during the American Civil War

"I feel impelled to write": male intimacy, epistolary privacy, and the culture of letter writing during the American Civil War

hundred women served as soldiers served in the Civil War. Deanne Blanton and Lauren M. Cook’s recent work, They Fought Like Demons: Women Soldiers in the Civil War (New York: Vintage Books, 2012) examines some 250 known cases for which reliable evidence exists. Since many wartime letters and papers have been lost and not all female soldiers kept or even produced any material records of their service, the actual number of women who served in the Civil War must stand considerably higher than 250. Scholars like James M. McPherson and Earl J. Hess also put the figure in the hundreds. See Hess, “’Tell Me What the Sensations Are’: The Northern Home Front Learns about Combat,” in Union Soldiers and the Northern Home Front, ed. Paul A Cimbala and Randall M. Miller (New York: Fordham University Press, 2002), 141. For more on female Civil War soldiers, see Elizabeth D. Leonard’s All the Daring of the Soldier: Women of the Civil War Armies (New York: Norton, 1999), and Richard H. Hall’s two books, Patriots in Disguise: Women Warriors of the Civil War (New York: Paragon House, 1993) and Women on the Civil War Battlefront (University Press of Kansas, 2006). For a general survey of women soldiers in the early modern era, see John A. Lynn’s Women, Armies, and Warfare in Early Modern Europe (Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press, 2008). For the experience of female combatants in early nineteenth century warfare, see Thomas Cardoza, Intrepid Woman: Cantinières and Vivandières of the French Army (Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 2010) and Charles J. Esdaile, Women in the Peninsula War (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2014), chapter 4.
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