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Orphan Films from 2001 to 2010

by matt swift
Orphan Films from 2001 to 2010 by matt swift
For as long as there has been cinema, scholars have investigated the ways in which this powerful form of entertainment and human expression plays a role in the representation and development of society. These investigations have taken us from an understanding of the formalist features of cinema, through Freud’s and Lacan’s psychoanalytic theories, and into the study of specific populations of society through their presentation on the big screen. Recent studies have thoroughly examined “images of” racial and gender groupings, as well as issues of social class.. Thislist coincides with a paper that is part of a larger project tracking a… Read more

For as long as there has been cinema, scholars have investigated the ways in which this powerful form of entertainment and human expression plays a role in the representation and development of society. These investigations have taken us from an understanding of the formalist features of cinema, through Freud’s and Lacan’s psychoanalytic theories, and into the study of specific populations of society through their presentation on the big screen. Recent studies have thoroughly examined “images of” racial and gender groupings, as well as issues of social class.. Thislist coincides with a paper that is part of a larger project tracking a sociological group that to date has been over-represented in film but noticeably under-studied film in criticism: the orphan. Utilizing research in folklore, cultural studies, psychology, and exhibition trends of cinema, I am examining Hollywood’s use of orphans and orphanhood over time. This list is limited to a discussion of top box office films from the last decade in order to argue for the reclamation of the term “orphan film” so that it may be applied to films exhibiting common orphan-related conventions through the use of similar plot constructions, stereotyped characters, and cinematic devices that evoke a sense of orphanhood. Asserting orphan films as a categorization provides a specific avenue for investigating themes of loss and familial relationships while declaring that a population of society, which has until recently been erased from intellectual debates, affects our cultural history more than we have previously recognized.

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