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American Cinema in the Shadow of 9/11$
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Terence McSweeney

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781474413817

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474413817.001.0001

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Stop the Clocks: Lincoln and Post-9/11 Cinema

Stop the Clocks: Lincoln and Post-9/11 Cinema

(p.191) Chapter 9 Stop the Clocks: Lincoln and Post-9/11 Cinema
American Cinema in the Shadow of 9/11

Ian Scott

Edinburgh University Press

As well as its discussion of American history and cinematic temporality Schopp's work on Tarantino is connected directly to Chapter Nine, Ian Scott's analysis of Steven Spielberg's Lincoln, by the presence of the enigmatic president in both of their narratives: while of course, Abraham Lincoln plays a central role in Spielberg’s Lincoln, the historical figure of Lincoln plays a peripheral but important figure in Quentin Tarantino's The Hateful Eight through the repeated appearance of Major Marquis Warren’s (Samuel L. Jackson) letter which he claims to have received from Lincoln himself. Ian Scott's analysis of Spielberg’s film reads Lincoln as one of the most resonant and culturally important historical films of the new millennium and explores how far it might resonate with the tempestuous political climate of the ‘War on Terror’ era. It was around the time of the production of Lincoln that several commentators began to talk of an 'Obama Cinema' (see J. Hoberman 2012 and Izo, 2014) and despite being set more than one hundred and fifty years before, Spielberg’s Lincoln was released at American cinemas in the same week that President Barrack Obama was elected for his second term of office. Scott offers a range of vibrant and compelling perspectives on the film: reading it as a challenge to traditional notions of the biopic, as a treatise on historical and cinematic time, but most importantly connecting it to cinematic depictions of the iconic president from D.W Griffith’s Abraham Lincoln (1930), through John Ford’s Young Mr Lincoln (1939) even to the allohistorical fantasy 'mashup' of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2012).

Keywords:   Historical film, Spielberg, War on Terror, Lincoln, Hollywood

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