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New American Teenagers: The Lost Generation of Youth in 1970s Film [Paperback]

Barbara Jane Brickman

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Book Description

22 May 2014
Taking a closer look at teen film in the 1970s, New American Teenagers uncovers previously marginalized voices that rework the classically male, heterosexual American teenage story. While their parents' era defined the American teenager with the romantic male figure of James Dean, this generation of adolescents offers a dramatically altered picture of transformed gender dynamics, fluid and queered sexuality, and a chilling disregard for the authority of parent, or more specifically, patriarchal culture. Films like The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Halloween, and Badlands offer a reprieve from the 'straight' developmental narrative, including in the canon of study the changing definition of the American teenager. Barbara Brickman is the first to challenge the neglect of this decade in discussions of teen film by establishing the subversive potential and critical revision possible in the narratives of these new teenage voices, particularly in regards to changing notions of gender and sexuality.

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Barbara Jane Brickman's smart and engaging reading of youth-oriented films of the 1970s charters new territory by uncovering their subversive potential in their treatment of issues of gender, generation, and sexuality. Her informative and insightful analysis of some of the decade's most popular films is a welcomed addition to the study of the American teen film. ----Stephen Tropiano, author of Rebels & Chicks: A History of the Hollywood Teen Movie

New American Teenagers is an invigorating read that will please media scholars and youth scholars alike. Barbara Brickman actively and purposefully rescues for us the teen films and teen viewers of the 1970s, exploring this era of cinema through a blend of intriguing psychoanalytical, feminist, and queer film theories in a manner that provokes reconsideration of key texts. --Sharon Marie Ross, co-editor of Teen Television: Essays on Programming and Fandom

Through a series of thorough and sometimes humorous analyses of teen film trends in the '70s, Brickman highlights the contributions of the genre to broader developments such as feminism, gay rights, educational reform, and the political power of youth. --Timothy Shary, author of Generation Multiplex: The Image of Youth in Contemporary American Cinema

About the Author

Barbara Jane Brickman is an Assistant Professor of Media and Gender Studies at the University of Alabama, U.S.A. She recently was an Associate Professor of English and Film Studies at the University of West Georgia, where she is devloped their Film Studies program. She has previously published articles on the pathologization of female teens, fantasy and the teen spectator, and the queering of fandom. Her current project focuses on the depiction of adolescents in the films of the 1970s.

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