Save the world with Ben and Matt: Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, and the importance of film texts to critical discussions of star campaigning

Gulam, Joshua (2019) Save the world with Ben and Matt: Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, and the importance of film texts to critical discussions of star campaigning. Celebrity Studies. ISSN 1939-2397

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Official URL: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/19392...

Abstract

By looking at films such as Good Will Hunting (1994) and Argo (2012), this paper provides close analysis of the on-screen roles of Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, alongside a discussion of their involvement in social and political causes. Existing scholarship about Hollywood campaigning tends to gloss over the importance of films, viewing on-screen roles as secondary to a star’s off-screen activities. Instead, I argue that on-screen roles are directly relevant to any understanding of activist endeavour. Building on ideological critiques of celebrity humanitarianism, the goal is to show how films are crucial in shaping not just the media and institutional traction of Hollywood star campaigners, but also the wider instrumentalities that their campaigning performs. The paper concludes that close analysis of the on-screen roles of individuals like Affleck and Damon can help to reveal just how embedded the phenomenon of star campaigning is within neoliberal capitalism, as well as dominant discourses of race and gender. It can also uncover slippages in this phenomenon, whereby stars are able to mobilise their on-screen image to amplify attacks against the same hegemonic forces.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information and Comments: “This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Celebrity Studies on [date of publication TBA], available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/[Article DOI, TBA].”
Keywords: celebrity humanitarianism; Ben Affleck; Good Will Hunting; Jason Bourne; Batman; Eastern Congo Initiative (ECI); Matt Damon; Harvey Weinstein
Faculty / Department: Faculty of Arts & Humanities > School of Creative and Performing Arts
Depositing User: Joshua Gulam
Date Deposited: 05 Dec 2019 16:40
Last Modified: 05 Dec 2019 16:40
URI: http://hira.hope.ac.uk/id/eprint/2961

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