By Patricia Keeton
No different cinematic style extra sharply illustrates the contradictions of yankee society - notions approximately social type, politics, and socio-economic ideology - than the battle movie. This booklet examines the most recent cycle of battle movies to bare how they mediate and negotiate the complexities of struggle, type, and a military-political undertaking mostly long past undesirable.
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Extra resources for American War Cinema and Media since Vietnam: Politics, Ideology, and Class
Both the book and the movie are a variation of a theme recurrent in American war movies made during and after the Vietnam debacle: war is a muddle; it’s an existential quagmire; no real sense can be made of it; and the combatant—heroic and upright though he may be—is its helpless victim. If fighting insurgents in countries thousands of miles has no coherent reason, logic, or higher morality, nearly everything quickly becomes a shambles. ” From here on in nearly every dramatic moment is characterized by irony.
Swofford apologizes to it. They come across numerous Iraqis burnt to an unrecognizable skeletal ash—called “crispy creatures” by the Jarheads. Swofford (Jake Gyllenhaal) sits down with his Staff Sergeant, Sykes (Jamie Foxx), a Marine lifer. They look at the desert horizon that is dominated by flame and smoke belching oil wells. The outer ring of the seventh circle of Dante’s Inferno is reserved for the violent against people and property and the sinners are immersed in Phlegethon, a river of boiling blood and fire.
And he goes to war. And afterwards he comes home, and he sees that whatever else he may do with his life—build a house, love a woman, change his son’s diaper—he will always remain a jarhead. And all the jarheads killing and dying, they will always be me. We are still in the desert. ( Jarhead ) The desert, of course, is where we’ve witnessed scenes right out of Dante’s Inferno; where Sam Mendes, to his credit, re-created the infamous Highway of Death, one of the most nefarious events of the war: in two days, February 26–27, 1991, American and Canadian aircraft and ground forces attacked retreating and utterly defenseless Iraqi soldiers and civilians escaping Kuwait along Highway 80, resulting in hundreds of vehicles and their occupants being incinerated.
American War Cinema and Media since Vietnam: Politics, Ideology, and Class by Patricia Keeton