paper 2 genre rebel

paper 2 genre rebel -...

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View Full Document Right Arrow Icon h With its stock company of switchblade carrying juvenile delinquents, "chickie runs," rumbles, and "tragic romanticism" (White 10), the teen genre has been called, variously, "coarse and unreflective" (White 10), "a shitstorm of Boy Movies" (White 15), reflections of teenagers' own "very shallow, very limited sense of emotional and social reality" (Rapping 16), films about "the blank generation" (Smith 70), and of the Canadian genre , an exercise in "suffocating dramatic sobriety" (Pevere 45). many other films that examine the liminal period between childhood and adulthood, a period that seems only to have become an important social category in the United States after World War II. However, very little critical attention has been paid to the genre , which has been a staple of Asmerican cinema since at least the mid 1930s. In his historical survey of the teen genre , Thomas Doherty points out that the idea of the teenager was unknown in U.S. society before 1935.( n8 ) The postwar baby boom and the new-found economic strength of the American family saw the birth of a large number of affluent young people who were quickly discovered as a market by big business and studios that manufactured the B, exploitation movie. Indeed, it is one of Doherty's contentions that as a category "the teenager" has more to do with marketing practices than with biology (53). As Canadian Seth Feldman argues, one might well view "the adolescent as an American invention that has itself institutionalized the values of American frontier society. Highly individualistic behavior, unmitigated aggression, and the assertion of a personal right of preeminent domain are rewarded by the Americans with the blessing of eternal youth" (211). But, as Jon Lewis points out, whatever the status of the teenager as a category, most teen films and their critics have been concerned with youth as a problem (35), and with the often-fear-inspiring, black-leatherjacketed delinquent represented by the young Marlon Brando, the tragic James Dean, or the swivel-hipped Elvis, who are among the genre's most glamorous icons. Both Doherty and Charles Acland, in his book Youth, Murder, Spectacle, maintain in
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This note was uploaded on 03/04/2009 for the course CTCS 18000 taught by Professor Casper during the Fall '09 term at USC.

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paper 2 genre rebel -...

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