Environmentalism and Hollywood Cinema
By David Ingram
This book combines film studies with environmental history and politics, aiming to establish a cultural criticism informed by 'green' thought. David Ingram argues that Hollywood cinema has largely perpetuated romantic attitudes to nature and has played an important ideological role in the 'greenwashing' of ecological discourses.
The book accounts for the rise of environmental concerns in Hollywood cinema, and explores the ways in which attitudes to nature and the environment are constructed in a number of movies. It is divided into three sections: Wilderness in Hollywood Cinema; Wild Animals in Hollywood Cinema; Development and the Politics of Land Use.
Contents: Introduction - melodrama and environmental crisis. Part 1 Wilderness in Hollywood cinema: discourses of nature and environmentalism; the cinematography of natural landscapes; gender and the encounter with wilderness; ecological Indians and the myth of primal purity; gender, race and the politics of the Amazonian rain forests. Part 2 Wild animals in Hollywood cinema: endangered species and the North American anti-hunting narrative; North American ocean mammals; the wolf and the bear; African animals from safari to conservation. Part 3 Development and the politics of land use: the country and the city; automobile culture; the risks of nuclear energy. Conclusion.
"Green Screen combines film criticism, cultural criticism, ecocriticism, and a bit of environmental history in an engaging and useful way. Its selection of films, many of which are described in some detail, will be useful to those who are entering the field. Its insights will be of value to ecocritical scholars and to those who want to bring environmental film into their classroom" (ISLE 9.1, Winter 2002) "[Ingram's] filmography in Green Screen: Environmentalism and Hollywood Cinema contains more than 150 Hollywood movies from the 1890s to the 1990s 'in which an environmental issue is raised explicitly and is central to the narrative'. He manages to analyze almost half of these in a dozen short chapters organized around three central themes: the wilderness, wild animals, and the politics of land use including the impacts of the automobile and nuclear power. This book will be valuable to anyone interested in politics and popular culture, American movies, and environmentalist debates on the meaning of nature." (American Studies International, Vol. 39, No. 3, Oct 2001) "This book is primarily an agenda-setter. As such it makes clear how complex and important are the debates that film studies and American studies more widely will need to tackle regarding representations and critique of late-capitalist consumerism in its global phase" (Forum for Modern Languages, Vol. 38, No. 1, 2002) “Overall the book is both important and interesting. Ingram takes part in an inquiry that is much needed and necessary … he makes good use of the existing literature on the subject, thereby making the book not only novel and profound in itself, but also a good introduction to the field of green cultural studies. Green Screen is highly recommended to anyone interested in the cultural implications of environmental issues.” (Environmental Values. Volume 14, No 4, 2005) "…a significant contribution to a field that will clearly grow as environmental issues take an ever more prominent place in our political life." (Screening the Past. 19 July 2005)
David Ingram is a lecturer in American Studies at Brunel University.
Green Screen - Environmentalism and Hollywood Cinema - Hardback cover