The promotion of neo-conservatism through contemporary Hollywood film with reference to Spielberg's Saving Private Ryan (1999)
This article proposes that current mainstream Hollywood film deliberately espouses a kind of neo-conservatism, replacing the apocalyptic pessimism typical of the so-called crisis cinema of the eighties. One might welcome this search for new meaning in life, were it not that one suspects that much of this filmic reaffirmation of the value of sacrificial violence by heroic individuals in order to restore an ailing society is, arguably, a mere media construct that extends the hegemony of supranational corporatism throughout the West. The author presents a brief survey of war films that has had considerable box office success during the last decade or so, arguing that Hollywood cinema has realigned itself with a kind of "Fort America" mentality in spite of the anti-Bush sentiment so vocally expressed by actors at the 2003 Academy Awards ceremony. In conclusion, the author analyses Spielberg's Saving Private Ryan (1999) in order to show to what extent the elements of framing and composition reflect, reinforce and comment on the narrative of Saving Private Ryan, creating a sub text that clearly strengthens American neo-patriotism.