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Politics In Film Political Films as a Genre Dr. Braunwarth Overview This class is about films – fictional movies – and politics in the U.S. setting We’re going to look at: How Politics Influences Films and What Films say about Politics What can films say about politics? “Political” Movies

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politics in film

Politics In Film

Political Films as a Genre

Dr. Braunwarth

overview
Overview
  • This class is about films – fictional movies – and politics in the U.S. setting
  • We’re going to look at:
  • How Politics Influences Films and
  • What Films say about Politics
  • What can films say about politics?
political movies
“Political” Movies
  • Politics tells us about how power is exercised; where the line is drawn between order and freedom
  • Political films vary wildly – from thrillers to melodramas to comedies
  • Would an explicitly “political” genre attract or scare away an audience?
  • In general, films are wary of being explicitly political so as to not alienate an audience
power of films
Power of Films
  • Aren’t these just stories?
  • Aren’t they intended simply to entertain?
  • As people lose contact with family, peer groups, and education system
  • Media take on a more powerful role
  • Can facilitate understanding about society, government, and politics
media construct reality
Media Construct Reality
  • How we, and others, get information
  • Increasingly, everything we know about the world, we know through the media
  • Largely disengaged from a non-mediated reality
  • Influence is strongest for those who know the least
  • Films are an exciting blend of image and sound
why films they are powerful
Why Films? They are Powerful
  • Films are Entertaining
    • and therefore Compelling
  • We don’t go to see popular movies with the intention of enhancing our knowledge about politics
  • But because they are Popular and Engaging
  • They are effective educators because we think we are just being entertained
  • Power lies in Emotions, not Intellect
  • Can we say the same for books?
windows on the world
Windows on the World
  • Films use Drama to build bridges to remote times, places, and events
  • The Political World is a Remote World for many
  • Even things that are obviously fiction have an effect on our views of the world, both consciously and unconsciously.
  • In the absence of alternative information you learn from what you know.
problems
Problems?
  • What are the problems with using films as sources of information?
  • not necessarily accurate (dramatized)
  • not comprehensive
  • not unbiased
  • The inaccuracies also influence our Political Culture