Hollywood and the Pentagon: The Military-Cultural Complex of American Domination

It will be shown in cinemas next March BatmanDirected by Matt Reeves and with Robert Pattinson as Bruce Wayne. In 2022, also produced by DC Entertainment, it will also be released Sparkle And the bat girl. Other than being films produced by the Warner Bros subsidiary, what do US superhero films have in common? Answer: The Pentagon. In fact, the US Army is an active producer of a very long list of filmsand not only: TV seriesAnd the Software And the TV Shows They are carefully reviewed and modified in accordance with the requirements of the Department of Defense (DoD).

In 2013, thanks to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request by Stephen Underhill, it was a very long report. existing For media products in which the Department of Defense played a leading role. If it is not surprising to find on the list war films, where the advice of the military sector is understandable, then it is strange to find films, programs and shows of all kinds: King Kong, Hawaii Five-O, America’s Got Talent, Oprah, Jay Leno, Cupcake Wars, Iron Man, Hulk, TransformersAnd the Jurassic Park III These are just some of the productions in which the Pentagon has played an active role. Document examination Tom Secker and Matthew Alford, authors of the book National Security Cinematell how the Ministry of Defense worked on the production of about 800 movies and over 1000 TV shows. The common people in authoritarian countries often realize that they are looking there Advertising for the government. However, Western audiences in general do not realize that when they watch it it is a modified version of the same phenomenon, He explained Tom Seeker.

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The authors explain that writers and producers approach the Pentagon to claim access to military resources to realize their product, and then have to submit their script to liaison offices for entertainment control. If there are any characters, actions, or dialogue that the Department of Defense does not agree with, the director must make changes to meet the demands of the military. If they refuse, the Pentagon packs its toys (see: Bases, ships, planes, helicopters, trained personnel, and various technologies) and goes home. To get full cooperation, producers must sign contracts — production assistance agreements — that bar them in the event that the military doesn’t approve of the script.

Phil Straub has been the Pentagon’s liaison officer in Hollywood for over 25 years. In other words, he was the one who had the final say in film and television productions. His name appeared at the end of several films, on a list of people the producers would like to thank, including Transformers: Vengeance of the Fallen, Lone Survivor, Iron Man, Perfect Storm, The Day the Earth Stands stillas well as on TV shows like bones and 24. strobe Tell Like the Transformers, and its sequel, Revenge of the Fallen, all branches of military service have been used: endless Bases, missile ranges, combat squadrons, and aircraft carriers.

Roger Stahl, Director theaters of war (2018), featuring a group of industry researchers, war veterans, PR officials, and producers ready to speak. In disturbing detail, theaters of war tell how Ministry of Defensewith its various agencies, Pushing official accounts of the facts during the systematic liquidation of war crimes, corruption, racism, sexual assault, coups, murder, and torture of texts.

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“The military has been there since Hollywood was first built out of the valleys and deserts of Los Angeles,” said Todd Presley, a retired Army officer. The relationship goes back to the early twentieth century, from the beginning, but Reinforced in 1927 – The year of the Academy Awards creation – with the production of the silent film Wings, starring Clara Bow: more than 3,000 infantrymen appeared as extras, as well as military pilots and USAF aircraft; It won its first Academy Award for Best Picture.

Lawrence Swedenauthor The making of the US military image in the movieExplain how World War II created a greater intermingling of the American film industry and the military sector. Aim for the starsReleased in 1960, it was in high demand by the Pentagon: the film tells the story of Wernher von Braun, the engineer who developed the missile program for Nazi Germany and who, by the end of the war, would become the head of NASA; He was to be portrayed as an American hero.

The US government’s control over Hollywood is evident, including the ability to manipulate scripts or even block productions of films that are highly critical of the Pentagon – not to mention the impact on some of the most popular movie franchises in recent years. This raises new questions not only about how censorship works in the modern entertainment industry, but also about Hollywood’s little-known role as a propaganda machine for the US national security apparatus.

[di Michele Manfrin]

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