Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Post-9/11 cinema : how American narrative films responded to 9/11 (2001-2008)
Author: Musumeci, Irene
ISNI:       0000 0004 2736 244X
Awarding Body: University of Essex
Current Institution: University of Essex
Date of Award: 2012
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
This thesis considers the place of American narrative cinema in 'post-9/11 culture', arguing that filmic responses to 9/11 between 2001 and 2008 did not represent a moment of rupture in cultural production but instead reinforced ongoing cultural debates, thematic concerns, and visual praxis. It takes the form of a series of interconnected close readings of four feature films: 25th Hour (Spike Lee, 2002), United 93 (Paul Greengrass, 2006), Syriana (Stephen Gaghan, 2005), and There Will Be Blood (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2007). Drawing widely on critical theorists (including Baudrillard, Derrida, Said, Zizek and Benjamin) and foregrounding themes such as American masculinity in crisis, forms of civic and national identity, and the represen- tation of Islam, the discussion places all four films in conversation with their historical, cultural and political contexts. After an introductory overview of post-9/11 culture, the opening chapter analyses the first post-9/11 film, 25th Hour, from the perspective of auteur theory, focussing on the film's production context and some of its major themes, such as the representation of the city as a locus of racial and cultural tension. The second chapter proposes a reading of United 93 as a disaster movie, uncovering the reliance of the film's representational strategies on Orientalist stereotypes and the theory of the 'clash of civilizations'. The third chapter discusses Syriana as a film that suggests alternatives to such ideological paradigms, examining how its complex narrative reflects a sophisticated view of global geo-politics and hybridity in racial relations after 9/11. The final chapter considers There Will Be Blood as an allegorical reading of 9/11 and the end of post -9/11 cinema, signalling the absorption of 9/11 into culture and the advent of debates about different kinds of catastrophic events and nihilist narratives that include natural apocalypse, global financial crises, and the self-destruction of Western capitalist society.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available