The "Smart" Teen Film: Identity Crisis, Nostalgia and the Teenage Viewpoint

Canning, Laura (2018) The "Smart" Teen Film: Identity Crisis, Nostalgia and the Teenage Viewpoint. In: Rethinking Genre in Contemporary Global Cinema. Palgrave Macmillan, New York, NY, pp. 121-133. ISBN 978-3-319-90133-6

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Abstract / Summary

This chapter explores previously unconsidered thematic and structural generic links between teen film and the “Smart film” (Jeffrey Sconce 2002) – characterised by blank, ironic, or distanced “sensibility” or tone, and preoccupied with questions of identity – which emerged in the intersection of independent and mainstream cinema in the 1990s. The “Smart teen film” examines issues of personal identity, class, sexuality and (often) masculinity, rebellion against adulthood, and disillusionment with hierarchical social structures including the family, discussed here in relation to Rushmore (Wes Anderson 1998), Brick (Rian Johnson 2005), and Election (Alexander Payne 1999). The chapter concludes firstly, that the Smart teen film investigates these issues in ways that reflect American public and institutional discourses of the period which alienated and materially disadvantaged young people, rendering youth itself a “problem” to be solved; and secondly, that it displaces the teenage audience in favour of an adult audience mobilising discourses of nostalgia.

Item Type: Book Chapter
ISBN: 978-3-319-90133-6
Subjects: Film & TV > Film > Hollywood Film
Film & TV > Film > International Film
Courses by Department: The School of Film & Television > Film
Depositing User: Laura Canning
Date Deposited: 31 Aug 2018 10:23
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2018 10:23


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