Rhetoric, Politics and Society

A Cinema of Hopelessness

The Rhetoric of Rage in 21st Century Popular Culture

Authors: Phillips, Kendall R.

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  • Provides a rich and in-depth account of political thinking around pop culture artefacts
  • Discusses current debates with rationale that is distinctive in its move away from an identity based approach
  • Explores complex material including Berlant’s cruel optimism, with commentary upon the wider international context
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  • ISBN 978-3-030-74136-5
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Hardcover 57,19 €
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About this book

This book explores the circulation of anger and hostility in contemporary American culture with particular attention to the fantasy of refusal, a dream of rejecting all the structures of the contemporary political and economic system. Framing the question of public sentiment through the lens of rhetorical studies, this book traces the circulation of symbols that craft public feelings in contemporary popular cinema. Analyzing popular twenty-first century films as invitations to a particular way of feeling, the book delves into the way popular sentiments are circulated and intensified. The book examines dystopian films (The Purge, The Cabin in the Woods), science fiction (Snowpiercer), and superhero narratives (the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Joker). Across these varied films, an affective economy that emphasizes grief, betrayal, refusal, and an underlying rage at the seeming hopelessness of contemporary culture is uncovered. These examinations are framed in terms of ongoing political protests ranging from Occupy Wall Street, the Tea Party, Black Lives Matter, and the 6th January 2021 invasion of the US Capitol Building.


About the authors

Kendall R. Phillips is Professor of Communication and Rhetorical Studies at Syracuse University, USA. His publications include Projected Fears: Horror Films and American Culture (2005), Dark Directions: Romero, Craven, Carpenter and the Modern Horror Film (2012) and A Place of Darkness: The Rhetoric of Horror in Early American Cinema (2018).


Reviews

Phillips offers an incisive, subtle, and compelling analysis of the cinematic present that also poses difficult questions for the political present. A Cinema of Hopelessness has the courage to deeply examine contemporary popular cinema in a political context. While pointing to a generalized affective atmosphere of hopelessness, this book does not succumb to negativity. On the contrary, out of hopelessness, Phillips glimpses the contours of hope, a way out, a future that contemporary cinema gives us the possibility of imagining. - Dr Richard Rushton, Lancaster University

Table of contents (5 chapters)

Table of contents (5 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook 46,00 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-74136-5
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover 57,19 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-74135-8
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Institutional customers should get in touch with their account manager
  • Shipping restrictions
  • Usually ready to be dispatched within 3 to 5 business days, if in stock
  • The final prices may differ from the prices shown due to specifics of VAT rules
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
A Cinema of Hopelessness
Book Subtitle
The Rhetoric of Rage in 21st Century Popular Culture
Authors
Series Title
Rhetoric, Politics and Society
Copyright
2021
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG
eBook ISBN
978-3-030-74136-5
DOI
10.1007/978-3-030-74136-5
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-030-74135-8
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XIII, 123
Number of Illustrations
20 illustrations in colour
Topics