GENERATION MULTIPLEX: The Image of Youth in Contemporary American Cinema

Timothy Shary, Author, David Considine, Foreword by . Univ. of Texas $60 (348p) ISBN 978-0-292-77752-1 ISBN 978-0-292-77771-2

In this comprehensive academic work, film scholar Shary analyzes hundreds of "youth films" made between 1980 and 2001 to detail how young people are represented "within a codified system... [of]... certain subgenres and character types." He is particularly insightful in his breakdown of film genres (e.g., school-based, delinquent youth-centered, horror, science, sex) and on subgenre trends, such as changes in youth sex films since the prevalence of AIDS and more open attitudes toward teenage homosexuality. Appropriately, Shary criticizes some film reviewers for their condescending attitude toward teen films. But his constant reminders of how hard it is for him to remain objective doing research that "will always be imbued with the problematics of her or his personal ideological positions" are tiresome, as most readers accept this condition as the cost of reading another person's writing; seeking complete objectivity in a humanistic study seems misplaced. Still, Shary's conclusions raise thought-provoking questions, among them: what is the "elitist" cinema? and who are the "we" who "tell youth who they are"? The in-depth analysis and embrace of all types of teen movies, from Porky's (1981) to Save the Last Dance (2001), make this is a useful book, albeit one directed toward Shary's fellow academics. (Nov.)

Reviewed on: 10/14/2002
Release date: 11/01/2002
Paperback - 338 pages - 978-0-292-77771-2
Open Ebook - 978-0-292-76071-4
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