|The politics and propaganda in American Sports|
The politics and Propaganda in American Cinema
Dir. Gabe Polsky
Dir. Bennett Miller
Canada vs. America: The Politics and Propaganda of Sports in Gabe Polsky’s Red Army and Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher
By Greg Klymkiw
Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF 2014) report in my latest "Colonial Report (on Cinema) from the Dominion of Canada" column in the super-cool UK film mag "Electric Sheep - a deviant view of cinema" Here's a couple of snippets to whet your appetite:
Foxcatcher, one of the most exciting American movies of the year, very strangely employs propagandistic elements within the narrative structure provided by screenwriters E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman, which, in turn, the director Bennett Miller superbly jockeys in his overall mise-en-scène. Astonishingly, the filmmakers manage to have their cake and eat it too. By offering a detailed examination of propaganda within the context of American history and society, as well as a mounting an ever-subtle critical eye upon it, Miller might continue to add accolades to his mantle in addition to the Best Director nod he copped at Cannes.
Gabe Polsky’s feature length documentary Red Army is as much about the propaganda machine (of Cold War Russia) as it is pure propaganda unto itself, by placing undue emphasis upon the rivalry between America and the Soviet Union on the blood-spattered battleground of ice hockey competition. Polsky has fashioned a downright spellbinding history of the Red Army hockey team, which eventually became a near-juggernaut of Soviet skill and superiority in the world. In spite of this, many Canadians will call the film a total crock-and-bull story. While a Maple Leaf perspective might provide an eye more sensitive to Miller’s exploration of the propagandistic gymnastics of American blue blood powerbrokers, there is bound to be more than just a little crying foul over Polsky’s film.
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Red Army and Foxcatcher are Mongrel Media releases.
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