Multiplexing marx in contemporary American cinema

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Contemporary Cinema and Neoliberal Ideology

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© 2018 selection and editorial matter, Ewa Mazierska and Lars Kristensen; individual chapters, the contributors. This chapter provides a close reading of three recent Hollywood productions: The Internship (2013), directed by Shawn Levy; The Interview (2014), directed by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg; and Hail, Caesar! (2016), directed by Joel and Ethan Coen, overviewing how they reinterpret communist ideas. The premise is that, after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the subsequent dismantling of the Soviet Union and its satellite socialist countries in Eastern Europe, communist ideas were turned into mocked-up materials and – as such – included in the grotesque spectacle of neoliberal capitalism. The terrible ‘Red Scare’ of the 1940s and 1950s was turned into a ‘Red Laughter’, and this parodic reinterpretation of the ‘fearful’ communism was further enhanced by a renewed derisive use of communist ideas in contemporary cinematic discourses, targeting the very essence of Marxist thinking. Overviewing the recent transformations of mainstream cinema, this chapter analyses the modes in which communist ideology is truncated as a farcical object. The definition of communism, or ‘the Doctrine’, is largely that of a political and economic system founded on the philosophy of Karl Marx.

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