Young Femininity in Contemporary British Cinema: 2000-2015

Hill, Sarah (2015) Young Femininity in Contemporary British Cinema: 2000-2015. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Girls and young women have become more ubiquitous than ever in twenty-first
century media culture. This is particularly true of cinema, as some of the most
successful recent films are centred around young female protagonists, such as The
Hunger Games franchise (Ross, 2012) and Fifty Shades of Grey (Taylor-Johnson,
2015). British cinema has also witnessed a proportionate increase in girl-centred
films since the millennium, some of which are contemporary British cinema’s most
successful films. This includes commercial hits such as StreetDance 3D (Giwa and
Pasquini, 2010) and St Trinian’s (Parker and Thompson, 2007), as well as an
increasing number of critically acclaimed films by female filmmakers, such as Fish
Tank (Arnold, 2009) and The Falling (Morley, 2014). However, these films have so
far received little or no academic attention.
This thesis explores how young femininity is constructed in female-centred British
films between 2000 and 2015 in an era defined as postfeminist. It examines key
themes such as girls’ ambitions, education and friendship. I use a combination of
textual analysis and critical reception study, as well as analysis of extra-textual and
paratextual materials where appropriate, to examine how discourses of girlhood are
mediated both within the films themselves and outside of them in order to discern
how these films and their critical reception contribute to, and are informed by, ideas
about girlhood that circulate within the wider culture. In doing so, I argue for a
nationally-specific postfeminist framework, and consequently provide a greater
understanding of how postfeminism is articulated within a British context. I also
seek to counter the author-led, masculine bias within British cinema through
positioning critically respected films alongside critically maligned films, particularly
those aimed at young girls, in order to provide these films with much-needed
academic attention and demonstrate that they are worthy of consideration in relation
to British cinema’s output in the twenty first century.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Art, Media and American Studies
Depositing User: Users 7376 not found.
Date Deposited: 28 Jun 2016 12:57
Last Modified: 28 Jun 2016 12:57

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