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Indie ReframedWomen's Filmmaking and Contemporary American Independent Cinema$
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Linda Badley, Claire Perkins, Michele Schreiber, and Michele Schreiber

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781474403924

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474403924.001.0001

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Down to the Bone: Neo-neorealism and Genre in Contemporary Women’s Indies

Down to the Bone: Neo-neorealism and Genre in Contemporary Women’s Indies

Chapter:
(p.121) 7. Down to the Bone: Neo-neorealism and Genre in Contemporary Women’s Indies
Source:
Indie Reframed
Author(s):

Linda Badley

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474403924.003.0008

This chapter examines a resurgence of the American independent tradition of documentary-style social realism that inspired and enabled women filmmakers in the 1980s in recent films by Debra Granik (Winter’s Bone, 2010), Courtney Hunt (Frozen River, 2008), and Kelly Reichardt (Meek’s Cutoff, 2011), among others. These films adapt an international ‘neo neorealist’ aesthetic and ethos to expose the detrimental effects of neoliberal austerity on working-class women’s lives. Such realism is by no means ‘pure’, however, Badley argues, as these filmmakers incorporate melodrama and reappropriate mainstream ‘male’ genre tropes in the interest of highlighting feminist characterisations and ‘moments’ within their films, while appealing to a wider audience than otherwise, to offer visible interventions within the Indiewood sector.

Keywords:   neorealism, neo-neorealism, melodrama, ‘male’ genres, Courtney Hunt, Debra Granik, Kelly Reichardt

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