Remembrance, revision and remediation of the Second World War in contemporary Hollywood cinema

MacDonald, Daniel (2015) Remembrance, revision and remediation of the Second World War in contemporary Hollywood cinema. BA dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    In the last twenty years Hollywood has seen a resurgence of the Second World War combat movie. This paper examines tJ1e reasons for this return to World War II and the affects that this has had on popular culture. Beginning with a discussion on the generic conventions of the combat film specifically focusing on the work of Jeanine Basinger, her classification and isolations of key types within the genre and how these relate to the Second World War combat film. It then discusses the film Pearl Harbor (Bay, 2001 ), how the film conforms to generic tropes the representation of gender and race in the film and how decisions to represent historical fact in these ways affects audience understanding of the historical event. Finally the paper discusses the film Saving Private Ryan (Spielberg, 1998) exploring how, this fame became a key text in understanding the biggest war in human history at the turn of the millennium, how the film conforms to and defies Basinger's classifications of the genre and how Spielberg's decisions to explore the narrative of the D-Day landings through a fictionalised account as oppose to a factual one. This dissertation concludes that the Second World War has had a more defined impact on popular media and film than an other conflict in history, that through omission, erasure and fictionalisation, Michael Bay and Steven Spielberg were able to shift audience opinions of war, and that this deliberate shift allowed for American audiences to contextualise war through the 'good war interpretation of World War II rather than the Vietnam War.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries > School of Media and Performing Arts
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 23 Dec 2016 09:29
    Last Modified: 23 Dec 2016 09:29

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