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Antonio Sánchez-Escalonilla e-mail(Login required)


During the first decade of the century, a generation of Hollywood independent filmmakers became interested in telling the stories of ordinary citizens, in the wake of the social turmoil caused by 9/11, the Iraq war, natural disasters and the current economic crisis. Directors such as Alexander Payne, Jason Reitman, Tom McCarthy, the actor-directors George Clooney and Robert Redford, or the couple Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris share in their films a common interest in addressing real human conflicts in a society that, according to the research developed by Hanson & White, has reset its keys and chances of reaching the myth of the American Dream. This work deploys the creative traits that unite the aforementioned generation of directors as a group, all of them independent filmmakers who use Hollywood commercial channels –a hybrid production formula also known as Indiewood–. These traits result from the analysis of narrative contents applied to the filmographies of this specific group of directors, according to the social tendencies appointed by Hanson and White. Among these creative features is the projection of the domestic problems of the characters on a national crisis scenario; a hopeful optimism in resolving conflicts; the use of narrative common places of the American dream such as travel, frontier and home re-founding; the epic depiction of ordinary citizens; an inspiration in filmic archetypes emerged during the New Deal; the complaint or reference to threatened civil rights; and finally, the importance of generational conscience before the past and the future.


Independent cinema, American dream, Indiewood, narratives of the crisis, social common places


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