Search

Donnie Darko (2001)


Teenage Dreams, American Nightmares: Americana, Youth Culture, and the Horror Film

American Boogeymen
4 Tuesdays, October 9 to October 30, 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm
Instructor: Alice Bullitt, M.A., Board Member, BMFI
Location: Multimedia Room
Cost: $100 for members, $125 for non-members
Register Now

Why do horror films, more often than not, feature teenagers as the protagonists? Is it because horror is an unsophisticated genre of gratuitous violence, lacking in subtlety, and therefore best marketed to an undiscriminating youth market? Or is it because the complexities of teenage life make those transitional years an apt vehicle for the genre, which reflects a range of social and political anxieties?

This class will focus on a selection of films that utilizes thematic components and visual techniques from the horror idiom to explore uniquely American anxieties, principally as they relate to the teenage experience and distinctively American spaces and institutions. In Brian De Palma’s Carrie (1976), a socially ostracized and telekinetically gifted girl serves as a locus of anxiety around female teenage sexuality, culminating in an operatic, prom-set Grand Guignol. John Carpenter’s Halloween (1978), often cited as the first “slasher film,” exploits fears about the hidden dangers lurking within the idealized confines of American suburbia. Conversely, Kathryn Bigelow’s western/vampire hybrid, Near Dark (1987), uses the vast and expansive landscape of the American West as the backdrop for a young man’s identity crisis. Finally, Richard Kelly’s Donnie Darko (2001), as much science fiction as horror, is set in the days leading up to the 1988 presidential election, and tells a story about a teenage boy that is so bizarrely original that, well, you’ll just have to see it for yourself.

Sessions · Click to add to calendar
  • Tuesday, October 9
    6:30pm 2018-10-09 18:30:00 2018-10-09 21:30:00 America/New_York Teenage Dreams, American Nightmares: Americana, Youth Culture, and the Horror Film http://www.brynmawrfilm.org/class/2457/teenage-dreams-american-nightmares-americana-youth-culture-and-the-horror-film?id=2457&keyword=teenage-dreams-american-nightmares-americana-youth-culture-and-the-horror-film Bryn Mawr Film Institute, Bryn Mawr, PA
  • Tuesday, October 16
    6:30pm 2018-10-16 18:30:00 2018-10-16 21:30:00 America/New_York Teenage Dreams, American Nightmares: Americana, Youth Culture, and the Horror Film http://www.brynmawrfilm.org/class/2457/teenage-dreams-american-nightmares-americana-youth-culture-and-the-horror-film?id=2457&keyword=teenage-dreams-american-nightmares-americana-youth-culture-and-the-horror-film Bryn Mawr Film Institute, Bryn Mawr, PA
  • Tuesday, October 23
    6:30pm 2018-10-23 18:30:00 2018-10-23 21:30:00 America/New_York Teenage Dreams, American Nightmares: Americana, Youth Culture, and the Horror Film http://www.brynmawrfilm.org/class/2457/teenage-dreams-american-nightmares-americana-youth-culture-and-the-horror-film?id=2457&keyword=teenage-dreams-american-nightmares-americana-youth-culture-and-the-horror-film Bryn Mawr Film Institute, Bryn Mawr, PA
  • Tuesday, October 30
    6:30pm 2018-10-30 18:30:00 2018-10-30 21:30:00 America/New_York Teenage Dreams, American Nightmares: Americana, Youth Culture, and the Horror Film http://www.brynmawrfilm.org/class/2457/teenage-dreams-american-nightmares-americana-youth-culture-and-the-horror-film?id=2457&keyword=teenage-dreams-american-nightmares-americana-youth-culture-and-the-horror-film Bryn Mawr Film Institute, Bryn Mawr, PA