Youth Culture in Global Cinema

Youth Culture in Global Cinema

Youth Culture in Global Cinema

Youth Culture in Global Cinema


Coming of age is a pivotal experience for everyone. So it is no surprise that filmmakers around the globe explore the experiences of growing up in their work. From blockbuster U. S. movies such as the Harry Potter series to thought-provoking foreign films such as Bend It Like Beckham and Whale Rider , films about youth delve into young people's attitudes, styles, sexuality, race, families, cultures, class, psychology, and ideas. These cinematic representations of youth also reflect perceptions about youth in their respective cultures, as well as young people's worth to the larger society. Indeed, as the contributors to this volume make plain, films about young people open a very revealing window on the attitudes and values of cultures across the globe. Youth Culture in Global Cinema offers the first comprehensive investigation of how young people are portrayed in film around the world. Eighteen established film scholars from eleven different national backgrounds discuss a wide range of films that illuminate the varied conditions in which youth live. The essays are grouped thematically around the issues of youthful resistance and rebellion; cultural and national identity, including religion and politics; and sexual maturation, including gender distinctions and coming-of-age queer. Some essays engage in close readings of films, while others examine the advertising and reception of films or investigate psychological issues. The volume concludes with filmographies of over 700 youth-related titles arranged by nation and theme.


As this book goes to press in the summer of 2005, the latest book in a series about an adolescent wizard, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, is being released to a voracious audience of readers both young and old. Harry Potter's creator, J. K. Rowling, has developed a franchise of stories and subsequent movies that have enchanted many cultural imaginations, and that have provoked some debates on the roles and responsibilities of young people, in fiction and reality. Yet neither Rowling nor her famous character purports to represent all youth.

In creating this anthology, we also knew that we could not represent youth in films from all parts of the world. Furthermore, we knew that the lengthy process of publishing an anthology would preclude us from examining many films that have appeared recently. In dealing with international cinema, especially in the past few years, we faced the dilemma of locating youth films that have not been given adequate exposure, regardless of their significance and their messages.

We hereby bring together scholars from all over the globe to gather in a discussion of cinema dealing with youth, in terms of their attitudes, styles, sexuality, race, families, cultures, class, psychology, and ideas. Consider that the serious discussion of a teenage hero involved in sorcery would have seemed childish back in the twentieth century, and now Harry Potter is the subject of very intense examination. There is much more to be gained from further consideration of how youth in the new millennium can and should be represented and studied.

Timothy Shary Alexandra Seibel Worcester, Massachusetts Vienna, Austria . . .

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