Date of Award

2009

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Communications Honours

School

Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA)

Faculty

Faculty of Education & Arts

First Advisor

Tanja Visosevic

Abstract

This thesis is concerned with the changes in cinematic depictions of romantic relationships in which there is enough age disparity that the couple could be mistaken for parent and child. These cross-generational affairs have significance within the ideology of the family unit, the heterosexual couple and the classic Hollywood ideal of romantic love. The way that these relationships have been portrayed on screen has changed drastically in mainstream American cinema from the 1950s to the 2000s, and these shifts reflect changing values and attitudes in society since all films exhibit certain ideologies. Through sampling several relevant films made between 1953 and 2008, this study will look at how cross-generational romance is presented as a fairytale dream in the 1950s, a subject for a bittersweet story in the 1970s and 1980s, and finally a nightmarish threat in the 2000s.

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