Third talk in Capitalist Mode of Power series takes place Nov. 3

Hollywood sign

The Capitalist Mode of Power is a speaker series that explores the concept of capitalism as a mode of power and its role in the current global crisis; its impact on the distribution of income and corporate concentration, its role in public debt, Hollywood and the operation of the “market”. The purpose of this speaker series is to interrogate capitalism as a mode of power.

The talks started Oct. 20 and continue until Nov. 17 and are organized by The Forum on Capital as Power and sponsored by the York Department of Political Science and the Graduate Program in Social & Political Thought. All talks take place Tuesdays from 3 to 5pm in the Verney Room, 674 South Ross, Keele Campus, and are open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.

James McMahon
James McMahon

The third talk in the series is titled “Blockbuster Cinema: Hollywood’s Obsession with Low Risk” and will take place Tuesday, Nov. 3. It is presented by James McMahon (, a PhD student at the Graduate Program in Social and Political Thought at York University.

Hollywood is obsessed with blockbusters – for 20 years the major studios have been making them, and it appears that blockbuster cinema will be with us for many years to come. McMahon’s presentation will theoretically and empirically explain how blockbusters, and the associated business strategies that surround them, serve Hollywood’s financial goals. The key to blockbusters is that they allow major studios to reduce their risk. The revenues of designed-to-be blockbusters rarely fall below expectations, making the world of cinema increasingly predictable. Moreover, this predictability affects how the film business controls the social creativity of filmmakers and, indirectly, the behaviour of consumers.