PJAS 13-4

Marie Liénard-Yeterian
Wither the South on Screen: Revisiting Some Recent Releases
Polish Journal for American Studies, vol. 13 (Autumn 2019), pp. 207-221

Abstract: My article deals with the construction of a different South on screen in the posthuman context. It focuses on the way previous idealized embodiments of the South on film are being displaced to give way to an alternative South on screen informed by our contemporary aesthetics characterized by violence and human reification. The filmic South increasingly coheres with the historical South through the rewriting of formulaic tropes such as the plantation, the Southern belle and gentleman, and the staging of significant historical moments such as the Nat Turner rebellion and the Civil War. Recent releases perform national cultural work at a time when the demons of Southern history have come back to haunt the national imagination, as recent events such as the shooting at Immanuel church (June 2015) and Charlottesville (October 2017) have tragically shown.

Keywords: Southern plantation; Southern belle; Southern gentleman; the Civil War; No Country for Old Men (2007); The Road (2009); Django Unchained (2012); The Counselor (2013); The Hateful Eight (2015); The Birth of a Nation (2016); The Beguiled (2017); The Mule (2018).

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