Obama Era Cinema

The Rule Book – Bridge of Spies and the shifting Constitutional battleground

By Sam Adams

Steven Spielberg’s spy drama is an important reminder that being American is not a matter of where you were born but what you believe.

Mike Drop – How Channing Tatum and President Obama redrew the template for masculinity

By Simran Hans

Simran Hans considers the link between two of America’s most prominent and progressive leading men.

A New Hope – Black empowerment and symbolic casting in contemporary blockbusters

By Caspar Salmon

Our Obama Era Cinema series continues with Caspar Salmon reflecting on the vitriolic online backlash to recent progress in Hollywood casting.

White Gaze – How films of anxiety and introspection clouded America’s dominant perspective

By Stephen Winter

In our latest Obama Era Cinema essay, Stephen Winter considers the impact of two controversial role reversal fantasies.

Black Lives Matter – Social media activism and the politics of protest

By Katherine McLaughlin

How a handful of filmmakers and a simple hashtag turned stories of African-American oppression into a national concern.

U-S-A 4EVA – An inaugural address to the Spring Break nation

By Adam Lee Davies

How might President Barack Obama’s famous speech have looked had it been co-written by a certain James Franco?

The New Fear – How horror cinema uncaged America’s internal monster

By Justine Smith

Justine Smith examines how movies like The House of the Devil and Lords of Salem use nostalgia to expose a fractured national identity.

Blue Collar Blues – Southern identity and disillusionment in the cinema of Jeff Nichols

By Glenn Heath Jr

Each of the Arkansas director’s films addresses pressing social concerns affecting working-class white voters.

Shock Doctrine – Patriotic dissent in the unsavoury cinema of Dinesh D’Souza

By Vadim Rizov

Vadim Rizov considers the mainstream appeal of a trilogy of proudly racist films by one of conservative America’s most potent voices.

End Times – How America’s war machine perpetuates a false threat to liberty

By Forrest Cardamenis

In the first of a series of essays on Obama Era Cinema, Forrest Cardamenis counts the toll of US foreign policy during Barack Obama’s presidency.

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