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poetry, politics, and popular expression
Sunday, 4 January 2009
2008 movies and the political scene
Mood:  a-ok

Hi again.   

2008 will likely be remembered as the beginning of the Age of Obama.  Despite the fact that Bush finished his term in office this year, he seemed not surprisingly eclipsed as the months went on by the attention lavished on the Presidential election and specifically on Barack Obama, the eventual victor.

Several early 2008 box-office successes like WALL-EE and The Dark Knight Returns can be interpreted as a reflection of the pessimism surrounding the Bush Years, portraying a humanity unwilling to engage in anything but the same sluggish routine in the former and in the latter a kind of nightmarish distopia. 

Obama's prominence is suggested in Milk, a film which portrays Harvey Milk not only as the first openly gay politician elected in America but as a community organizer who sought to build broad coalitions among seemingly disparate groups, all the while emphasizing the importance of hope. 

The influence of Obama is even subtly shown in movies that seemed openly critical of Republican Power like W and Frost/Nixon.  These films reflect Obama's emphasis on seeing the good in those we may deeply disagree with.  Both movies provided a sympathetic portrait of their ostensible targets; W's worst actions as President (Guatanamo Bay, Katrina, etc) were ignored by Oliver Stone; Bush instead came across as a kind of amiable dunce who had deep issues with his Dad; Nixon appeared ravaged by exile and lonely.       

That's it for now. 



Posted by varbelenglish at 9:53 PM EST

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