Friday, December 9, 2011

Blog Response- The American Anti-Hero

What historical factors influenced the rise of the American Anti-Hero in cinema and how does this hero contradict the Classic Hollywood Ideology.

The Anit-Hero became popular between 1945 and 1980 after World War II.  According to Wikipedia, "An anti-hero in today's books and films will perform acts generally deemed 'heroic', but will do so with methods, manners, or intentions that may not be heroic" This describes them as heroes that aren't really smiled upon. After the war, America was looking for a new type of Hero and they wanted this hero to be rebellious to their society. America also wanted this heroes to represent what life was really about, and to reflect the human spirit that everybody embodied. From 1945 to 1980, there was mass amounts of anti-heroes in American movies. "Within the American cinematic gestalt, we are continually offered portrayals of the individual redemptive journey. Filmmakers repeatedly portray versions of the hero and anti-hero. These figures have their roots in age-old mythologicaland religious characters..." (Fitch 1). This shows that filmmakers made these attempts at portraying this "hero" as what the American people had wanted. "The anti-hero gained popularity in the 1940s and 1950s, probably due to the cynicism during and following World War II."

"The anti-hero was daring the audience to relate to doing wrong or being wrong even for the wrong reasons. " We can personally relate to the anti-hero because we too make mistakes and do wrong doings. These characters gave the audience a sense of something tangible lost or gained, which gets us, the audience, thinking what these anti-heroes go through. The anti-hero can also be described as "rebellious", as he prefers conflict rather than comfort, which shows his true intents as this hero figure. Within Classical films, the hero is usually the one that is courageous and always looking out for others, but that contradicts what a anti-hero is. The anti-hero goes against the Classic Hollywood Ideology by defying this stereotype that all hero's do good as it is the right thing to do. The anti-hero looks out for themselves and fight off authority figures simply for reasons unknown. Although this isn't what the audience is typically looking forward to when seeing a film with the average hero, it creates a sense of something new rather then having the audience already know what type of person this hero is.

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