PAYBACK: Tracing Hitchcock’s Influence in American Auteur Cinema

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When I think of American films that have had an impact on me so far, heavy pictures such as Paul McGuigan’s Wicker Park (2004), Stephen Gaghan’s Syriana (2005), Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Babel (2006), and Byron Howard’s and Rich Moore’s Zootopia (2016) immediately come to my mind. These films respectively touch on the issues of fairytales vs. reality, some of the root causes for conflicts in the Middle East, the question of people’s mobility in the twenty-first century, and the debate about ‘political correctness’. Whenever I am asked about my favorite movie, however, Brain Helgeland’s Payback (1999) immediately stands out in the crowd – without any competition. Continue reading “PAYBACK: Tracing Hitchcock’s Influence in American Auteur Cinema”

Political Correctness: Between the Left, the Right and the Political Insurgency

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The term “politically correct” was first used in the English language in 1793, as it appeared as a descriptive expression in the U.S. Supreme Court (Wilson, 1793). During the first half of the twentieth century, the term transformed from a criticism to the Stalin doctrine (Kohl, 1992), to an “in-joke on the left” (Hall, Some ‘Politically Incorrect’ Pathways through PC, 1994, p. 164). It entertained mainstream usage in the 1990s, and was often associated with the negative connotation of “censorship” (Bernstein, 1990). In the new millennium, the term played a crucial role in debating significant political and social matters in the West (Farage, 2017), and has arguably contributed to the rise of new and sometimes controversial forces on the overall political spectrum (Bruni, 2016). In 2016, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump championed a crusade against “political correctness” (Weigel, 2016), securing an office in the White House in 2017, only to face abstraction from judicial institutions who have blocked his “Muslim ban” twice, holding him accountable for previously being politically incorrect (Cockburn, 2017). Continue reading “Political Correctness: Between the Left, the Right and the Political Insurgency”