The all-American family is being revitalized in current American film. Looking at three recent film productions, this paper will analyze how contemporary representations of the family interact with different genres, authors and historical settings. In A History of Violence (2005, David Cronenberg), The New World (2005, Terrence Malick) and War of the Worlds (2005, Steven Spielberg) the family respectively faces an alien invasion from the big city, from another continent and from another planet. Set in different times of American history, correlating with different film genres and visualized by three leading directors the myth of the all-American family is being transformed both in its formal appearance as well as in its meaning. Using both an aesthetic and a social perspective, this paper will illuminate these transformations, revealing at the same time whether or not the newborn family ultimately saves the day and in one strike secures the future of the nation.
|Keywords:||Family, Genre, American Film, Myth, Nation|
Lecturer, Doctoral Researcher, Sint-Lucas Visual Arts Faculty, The Institute for Higher Education in the Sciences and the Arts, Ghent, Belgium
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