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ReFocus: The Films of Kelly Reichardt$
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E. Dawn Hall

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781474411127

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474411127.001.0001

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Discovery: Old Joy

Discovery: Old Joy

Chapter:
(p.45) Chapter 5 Discovery: Old Joy
Source:
ReFocus: The Films of Kelly Reichardt
Author(s):

E. Dawn Hall

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474411127.003.0005

This chapter is a study of masculinity within American culture and politics of the late 1990s to early 2000s. Old Joy is the only feature primarily focused on male interactions. Reichardt introduces her audience to male stereotypes found in traditional masculine roles and then deeply complicates them, through intentional ambiguous characterization. In doing so, the film resists cultural constructions of masculinity and continues a tradition of resistance by questioning and offering alternative representations of social norms found in independent cinema. The chapter explores production methods via interviews with Reichardt and producer Anish Savjani and contributes to the content conversation around LGBTQ concerns. In addition to a discussion of masculinity, as portrayed in the film, it analyzes the political context of the film concerning the displacement American liberals felt during the 2000-2009 presidency of George W. Bush and the failure of the democratic party to create an effective consensus.

Keywords:   Old Joy, Masculinity, LGBTQ, George W. Bush, Democrat, Liberals, homophobia, Independent cinema, Stereotypes, characterization

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