chapter  8
32 Pages

Movies Prefigure Politics: How Thrillers Anticipated Terrorist Attacks on America

Therefore cinema, especially popular cinema, can powerfully influence our realities. These range from mundane details of everyday life to pervasive overviews of official politics. In fact, cognition research suggests that audiovisual sources such as film and television are particularly potent for politics.3 Figures from films are prominent in the memories tapped by politics. Especially through popular genres of cinema, these figures help structure what we experience as political terrorism and responses to it.4 In movies, popular genres are families of conventions for cinematography, mise-en-scène, story, dialogue, acting, editing, music, even marketing.5 Thus popular genres are aesthetics: styles that tell us what goes with what else. As networks of figures, they have been shaping our senses of terrorist ends and means. They inform how we experience terrorist events and respond to them.6 So they contribute to a “prefiguration of the phenomenal field” for political terrorism.7