Chapter

Youth, Excess and the Musical Moment

Scott Henderson

in Film's Musical Moments

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print July 2006 | ISBN: 9780748623440
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748651115 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748623440.003.0011
Youth, Excess and the Musical Moment

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Issues of identity construction are often central to teen films, as producers attempt both to address the youth audience and to use popular culture to construct dominant ideals of behaviour. This chapter explores the function of music within those constructions. Key to this is the relationship between youth identities that can be constructed – and hence ‘contained’ – by the narrative and those musical moments, the unexpected explosions of musical performance in a non-musical film, in which youth identity becomes part of what may be described as cinematic excess. This chapter compares the importance of musical numbers featuring youthful expression found in the classical musical Meet Me in St. Louis (1944) with the post-classical films Tank Girl (1995) and 10 Things I Hate About You (1999). It argues that, in contrast to the former, the highlighting of excessive elements in Tank Girl and 10 Things I Hate About You works to accentuate resistance rather than community belonging.

Keywords: Meet Me in St. Louis; Tank Girl; 10 Things I Hate About You; cultural identity; teen films; musical moments; youth; musical performance; cinematic excess; resistance

Chapter.  5831 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Film

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