WikiLeaks has released a number of significant documents which have become front-page news items. Early releases included documentation of equipment expenditures and holdings in the Afghanistan war and corruption in Kenya. In April 2010, WikiLeaks published gunsight footage from the 12 July 2007 Baghdad airstrike in which Iraqi journalists were among those killed by an Apache helicopter, as the Collateral Murder video. In July of the same year, WikiLeaks released Afghan War Diary, a compilation of more than 76,900 documents about the War in Afghanistan not previously available to the public. In October 2010, the group released a package of almost 400,000 documents called the Iraq War Logs in coordination with major commercial media organisations. This allowed every death in Iraq, and across the border in Iran, to be mapped. In April 2011, WikiLeaks began publishing 779 secret files relating to prisoners detained in the Guantanamo Bay detention camp.
Hollywood movies are rapidly becoming vehicles for the ulterior marketing and advertising motives of studios and their owners, rather than entertainment in their own right.
Behind the Screens explores this trend toward “hypercommercialism” through phenomena such as product placement, tie-ins, merchandising and cross-promotions. It combines multiple examples taken directly from the movies with incisive interviews provided by film scholars, cultural critics, political economists, and an Oscar-nominated screenwriter.
Behind the Screens presents an accessible argument designed for school and college-age audiences– precisely the demographic most prized by both Hollywood studios and advertisers alike. It features examples drawn from movies such as Wayne’s World, Forrest Gump, The Lion King, Summer of Sam, and Toy Story. Interviewees include Jeremy Pikser, Oscar-nominated screenwriter of the Warren Beatty film Bulworth; Mark Crispin Miller, Professor of Communication at New York University; Susan Douglas, Professor of Communication at the University of Michigan; Professor Robert W. McChesney of the Univeristy of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; and Professor Janet Wasko of the university of Oregon.