June 16, 2011
Hollywood is often characterized as a stronghold of left-liberal ideals. In Reel Power, Matthew Alford shows it is in fact deeply complicit in serving the interests of the most regressive U.S. corporate and political forces. Films like Transformers, Terminator: Salvation and Black Hawk Down are constructed with Defense Department assistance as explicit cheerleaders for the U.S. military, but Matthew Alford also emphasizes 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 politicized 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.
Michelle Obama wants to see more stories of military families on TV and in movies, so she came to Hollywood to do something about it.
The first lady met with members of the writers, producers, directors and actors unions at the Writers Guild Theater to discuss Joining Forces, an initiative aimed at increasing public consciousness and support of military families.
Obama said she created the initiative with Jill Biden to help the nation understand “that when our country goes to war, we have families that are serving right along with them.”
During Monday’s hour-long program, Obama shared the stage with a National Guard pilot, a retired soldier and the wife of an Army officer. Writer-director JJ Abrams, whose film “Super 8″ topped the weekend box office, moderated the discussion.