The Post-Modern Reality of Hollywood

Powerful Essays
The Post-Modern Reality of Hollywood

The shower of bullets leave white grooved funnels in the air, as the hero in slow motion leans back to avoid the deadly aims of the gunmen—all the while his black trench-coat billows underneath him. The saddened husband in heaven spans the chasm of hell to be reincarnated with his soul-mate wife. The young business executive places the pistol in his mouth, his blood-shot eyes rolling upwards as beads of sweat trickle down his grimy face. Moments later, after the bullet has been released into his head he turns to see that his nemesis, his alter-ego, is now dead on the concrete. Sound unbelievable? Perhaps, but when realized as scenes from famous movies such as The Matrix, When Dreams May Come, and Fight Club, they seem not quite so unreachable as before.

In recent years, Hollywood has been inundating the American public with movies that question the very essence of reality. While set in highly entertaining, thrilling, and spectacular films, the very foundations of reality have been challenged, and some unsettling questions have been left unanswered in the minds of the American public. When did Hollywood become such a philosophizer? But more importantly, why has Hollywood taken to creating powerful films that manipulate the emotions and beliefs of their viewers as specifically concerns reality and their understanding of it?

Surely the foundations of reality have not always been so heavily emphasized in Hollywood in years past. Looking to motion pictures such as Casablanca, The Sound of Music, Clint Eastwood Western’s, Indiana Jones, and James Bond 007 (a handful of famous films), we do find questions posed and important scenarios of life brought to the screen. However, such movies were...

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...wood with a nice paycheck. Granted, not all films produced by Hollywood are illusionistic mind-benders such as The Matrix, and there are still films which present a very “real” reality. However, the increasing number of films such as Pulp Fiction, Fight Club, and The Matrix, and the subsequent encouragement by the American viewing public is most definitely a phenomenon worth exploring in greater depth. Hollywood has indeed become one of the largest mediums and beneficiaries of the post-modern, and this can be seen clearly in the post-modern reality which it so brilliantly presents.

According to Michael Albert in his article “Post-Modernism”.

Godwa, Hollywood Worldviews, pg. 17

Veith, Postmodern Times, pg. 35-36

Godwa, Hollywood Worldviews, pg. 19

Downing, When Heaven Becomes Desolate, pg. 6
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