Jacket Links

As I mentioned in my previous post, I’m in the process of writing my paper for the MLA conference, and so this blog may turn into a link clearinghouse for the next several days (it’s a process I’ve used several times, and I usually find it quite helpful). Plus, I now have so many pages open at the same time that I need to organize them in some way.

First, a link to a list of articles on The Jacket and director John Maybury at AltWeeklies.com. Among the more interesting articles on that series is Jim Ridley’s piece in City Pages.

Second, as I’ve mentioned Maybury argued in one interview that his film had Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo “as a subtext.” At the very least, it’s pretty clear that the film does have the current Iraq War as a backdrop. With that in mind, I’ve been reading Susan Willis’ fascinating book, Portents of the Real, which explores the role of the Abu Ghraib photographs in delivering a “body blow to our sanctimonious self-image.” Willis builds upon research by Seymour Hersh (2, 3) and readings of the photographs by Susan Sontag and Slavoj Zizek (essays to which I plan to return as I write my paper).

Finally, one of my goals for the paper, which is part of panel entitled “Pillorying and Parodying Washington” is to address the degree to which Hollywood and its independent studios, sometimes referred to as “Indiewood,” are addressing the war in Iraq. It should come as no surprise that I find the conservative Hollywood bashing unsatisfying, but with recent projects such as Jarhead,, Syriana and a planned Rob Reiner film about an American soldier wounded in Iraq, among others, it’s clear that Hollywood and independents are engaging with the war in complicated ways, but you’ll have to attend my MLA panel to hear the precise conclusions I’ve made about this relationship.

Update: One more link that I’d like to store here: Sahsa Abramsky’s article in The Nation,Supporting the Troops, Doubting the War.

Update 2: One more link to Arundhati Roy’s September 29, 2001, Guardian article on September 11 and the early stages of the war on terror (Operation Enduring Freedom).

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