Consumption and collapse: contemporary American myth in post-recession mainstream cinema

Gurney, N. (2015) Consumption and collapse: contemporary American myth in post-recession mainstream cinema. BA dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Abstract

    The last decade has witnessed monumental change in society due in part to the global financial crisis unfolding in 2008. This dissertation investigates a trend in film emerging as commentary to the recession crafting a new subgenre, the 'post-recessional'. Pattern observed in films released subsequent to prior financial breakdowns are used to evidence Hollywood as an institution capitalising on this event alongside analysis of social, political and economic theory in literature from journals, books and newspapers. The intent of this study is to present the link of apparently dissimilar films through their discussion of and response to contemporary issues, achieved through defining a post-recessional model that indexes common elements forming the new genre. Comprising of 3 parts, the model addresses post-recessional film as (l) reportage and response, (2)incorporation into mainstream Hollywood and (3) cautionary tales of excess. Observing how cinema has evolved following the financial crisis, this structure will model Hollywood's response to the crisis over a 4 year time frame. Supporting each part of the model are case studies providing comprehensive political commentary applicable to contemporary society. Genre is noted as a complex concept but this unique phenomenon asserts the post-recessional genre's distinction in that it establishes recession as a cultural myth; se1ving to inform a characterisation of American culture and helping audiences adapt to changes in society b making sense of the fluctuating financial landscape.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries > School of Media and Performing Arts
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 30 Nov 2016 16:16
    Last Modified: 30 Nov 2016 16:16
    URI: http://eprints.port.ac.uk/id/eprint/22718

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