Graduation Year

2009

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

M.L.A.

Degree Granting Department

Humanities

Major Professor

Margit Grieb, Ph.D.

Keywords

Film, Movies, Gender, Capitalism, Cultural studies

Abstract

During the summer of 2008 many movies were released with superhero protagonists. Combining textual readings and theoretical accounts to provide a phenomenological analysis of the representation of the counter-hegemonic struggle against corporate control and the achievement of posthuman masculinity in these recent superhero films, this thesis compares and contrasts specific visual and thematic elements that consistently appear in four of these films: The Dark Knight, Wanted, Iron Man, and Speed Racer. Providing intertextual exploration of the cultural status of specific cinematic superheroes, this project explores possible relationships between culture, society, and cinema, treating popular superhero cinema as an industry, while also considering the relationship between cinema and its audiences and potential implications for social and cultural identity.

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