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Here’s Looking at You

Hollywood, Film & Politics


Ernest Giglio

Here’s Looking at You: Hollywood, Film & Politics examines the tangled relationship between politics and Hollywood, which manifests itself in celebrity involvement in political campaigns and elections, and in the overt and covert political messages conveyed by Hollywood films. The book’s findings contradict the film industry’s assertion that it is simply in the entertainment business, and examines how, while the majority of Hollywood films are strictly commercial ventures, hundreds of movies – ranging from Birth of a Nation to Fahrenheit 9/11 – do indeed contain political messages. Here’s Looking at You serves as a basic text for political film courses and as a supplement in American government and film studies courses, and will also appeal to film buffs and people in the film industry.
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Prologue. President Obama Returns to the White House



President Obama was in the second year of his first term when the third edition of this book went to press, much too early for even a preliminary assessment. This edition continues from where the third ended in early 2010 and traces domestic developments and foreign events into the first year of the president’s second term.

In 2008, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama appeared to the American public as the patron saint of liberal causes: inclusive and affordable healthcare, green energy policy, regulation of Wall Street and the banking sector and a reasonable immigration policy. No wonder his victory reminded film buffs of Jimmy Stewart’s Boy Ranger idealism and his inspiring rhetoric in the Hollywood film Mr. Smith Goes to Washington or the promise of John F. Kennedy’s New Frontier in the 1960s. Obama’s rise to power couldn’t have been more of a blockbuster if Hollywood had written the script itself. But the reality of his first term was quite different, with the president spending much of his time deadlocked with the Republican-controlled House of Representatives as he sought to implement his campaign promises. He did manage to secure several stimulus packages to help failing banks, revitalize the American auto industry, and push through the Affordable Care Act to reform the nation’s health care system. However, ObamaCare, as the healthcare law came to be called, would prove to be an expensive achievement in terms of the president’s prestige and political capital.

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