By J. Hoberman
Publish yr note: First released December twenty eighth 2010
An military of Phantoms is an immense new paintings of historical past and picture feedback from the extremely popular critic J. Hoberman. the following he applies a similar dynamic synergy of yankee politics and American pop culture to the chilly War’s first decade that he delivered to the Nineteen Sixties within the seriously acclaimed The Dream Life.
The years among 1946 and 1956 introduced U.S. dominance over Europe and a brand new struggle in Asia, in addition to the delivery of the civil rights flow and the stirrings of a brand new adolescence tradition. The interval observed the motion picture purged of its political left whereas the increase of ideological motion hero John Wayne got here to dominate theaters. interpreting videos and media occasions, Hoberman has geared up a competition of cavalry Westerns, apocalyptic sci-fi flicks, and biblical spectaculars in which Cecil B. DeMille rubs shoulders with Douglas MacArthur, atomic assessments are proven on stay television, God talks at the radio, and Joe McCarthy is bracketed with Marilyn Monroe. here's a heritage of movie that also is, to paraphrase Jean-Luc Godard, in regards to the movie of history.
Essential studying for movie and background buffs, An military of Phantoms recasts a vital period within the mild of the silver screen.
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Extra info for An Army of Phantoms: American Movies and the Making of the Cold War
Like so many others they were misled by the ultimate fading of the Olympian gods. Despite appearances and weakened theories this tragic Apollo re mains "the most abominable" of all the gods, the formula Plato reproached Homer for using, as if the poet had indulged in a personal fantasy. Apart from certain intense beliefs, the scapegoat no longer appears to be merely a passive receptacle for evil forces but is rather the mirage of an omnipotent manipulator shown by mythology to be sanctioned unanimously by society.
The lengthy analysis I have just given of the type of interpretation that automatically results in the identification of stereotypes of persecution was necessary in order to understand that problem. As long as we are talking ofhistorical texts the interpretation presents no problem, and there is no need to detail each step of the process. But this attitude is precisely the obstacle to our taking the necessary step backward to reflect on our understanding of the represen tations of persecution.
We are able to recognize the first evil transfiguration of the victim, which seems normal, but we cannot recognize the second beneficent transfiguration; it is inconceivable that it can unite with the first without destroying it, at least initially. People in groups are subject to sudden variations in their relation ships, for bener or worse. If they attribute a complete cycle of variations to the collective victim who facilitates the return to normal, they will inevitably deduce from this double transference belief in a transcen dental power that is both double and will bring them alternatively both loss and health, punishment and recompense.
An Army of Phantoms: American Movies and the Making of the Cold War by J. Hoberman