Political Communication in Oliver Stone’s Platoon and JFK

Powerful Essays

Political communication—communication with a political purpose about human interaction—takes many different forms including novels, poetry, music, television, and film, which all have their distinct advantages and disadvantages in communicating with the public. Although some political communication intends to enact or drive social changes, some political communication seeks to maintain the status quo. The film medium, which is the subject of this paper, has a much broader mass appeal than other medias and often changes the viewer’s original beliefs and perceptions when he or she experiences over an hour straight of visual indoctrination of only one view.

Over the course of the semester, we have learned about the informal process of the government. In our first paper of the semester, we analyzed how the news media coverage’s role of acting as the fourth branch of the government and its effectiveness in educating the public. The second paper involved the informal workings and strategies of an interest group, but also focused on an interest group’s structure and membership. Finally, we read several political novels to see their role and political impact on the mass public.

For this free choice final paper, I decided to analyze Oliver Stone and his two films Platoon and JFK. Oliver Stone, a three-time Academy Award winner and known as one of the best filmmakers in his generation, ignores Hollywood convention warning against making films with a message. Among some of his great films, he made the two films Platoon and JFK. In Platoon, he presents a gritty and emotional examination of American soldiers during the Vietnam War through the lens of Chris Taylor, a biographical representation of himself and so...

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...f moviegoers about the concept of war and the government’s intentions.

Works Cited

Beaver, Frank. Oliver Stone: Wakeup Cinema. New York: Twayne Publishers, 1991.

Internet Movie Database. “Titles with certificate: Vietnam:(Banned).” .

JFK (Special Edition Director's Cut). Dir. Oliver Stone. 1991. DVD, Warner Home Video. 2001.

Kurtz, Michael L. “Oliver Stone, JFK, and History.” Oliver Stone’s USA. Ed. Robert Brent Toplin. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2000. 166—177.

Mackey-Kallis, Susan. Oliver Stone’s America. Boulder: Westview Press, 1996.

“Novel.” Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. 10th edition. 2002.

Platoon (Special Edition). Dir. Oliver Stone. 1986. DVD, MGM. 2001.

Riordan, James. Stone. New York: Hyperion, 1995.
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