Symposium + Lecture: 80's Reaganite Cinema | Offscreen
By way of a symposium at Cinema Nova and a lecture at Cinema Rits, we want to place the output of Cannon Films in a broader cultural and historical context. Film production during the presidency of Ronald Reagan (“Reaganite Cinema”) saw the end of New Hollywood's author cinema and a definite focus shift to action blockbusters. With bodybuilder actors, the cult of the body reigns supreme, while the trauma of the Vietnam war and the waning global US influence under president Carter are decidedly overcome.
Cannon films such as “Missing In Action”, “The Delta Force” and “Cobra” or other 80's successes like “Rambo III”, “The Secret of My Success” and “Top Gun” stand for a restored trust in the New Right. They can be seen as tools for the reinforcement of the American hegemony (the US as the world's policeman) and a promotion of the neo-conservative agenda. Simultaneously, a booming independent film industry, partly thanks to the rise of home video, speaks in a different tone of voice, and a critique on the neo-liberal ideology even seeps into Hollywood blockbusters (like “Robocop”).