America’s Lost Innocence and Cinema

  • Patrycja Włodek Pedagogical University, Kraków

Abstract

In my paper America’s Lost Innocence I intend to focus on American cinema of the ’50s, part of ’60s, and contemporary throwbacks to those decades. The ’50s have been called “the last decade of American innocence”, “the happiest decade in America’s history – when things were going on – that everybody misses” (by Jean Baudrillard). That era symbolically ceased on 22 November 1963; however, many scholars and publicists undermine the belief in its very existence. Michael Wood calls the ’50s a time of “self-deception”; therefore, the question raised is – has America ever been innocent? By concentrating on the message conveyed by mostly genre (e.g. drama, melodrama, musical, romantic comedy) and mainstream movies made in the ’50s and early ’60s (e.g. A Place In the Sun, Cat on the Hot, Tin Roof, Home From the Hill), I intend to analyze the portrait of American society of that time, it’s rules and expectations towards individuals and system as a whole. In the second part of my paper I will focus on contemporary throwbacks to those times depicted mostly in movies made in the 21st century, although not exclusively (e.g. Far From Heaven, The Hours, Revolutionary Road, the TV series Mad Men [2007–], Pleasantville). Using those and other movies as examples, I intend to prove the thesis that the phenomenon of retro and contemporary retromania are not always and not by definition conservative, and can serve as a means to a critical approach towards society.

References

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Published
2015-10-01
How to Cite
WŁODEK, Patrycja. America’s Lost Innocence and Cinema. Култура/Culture, [S.l.], v. 5, n. 12, p. 147-156, oct. 2015. ISSN 1857-7725. Available at: <http://journals.cultcenter.net/index.php/culture/article/view/191>. Date accessed: 16 june 2019.
Section
English Articles

Keywords

American cinema, genre, The ’50s, American society, retro, nostalgia, contemporary throwbacks, retromania