Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Scenes from the SuburbsThe Suburb in Contemporary US Film and Television$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Timotheus Vermeulen

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780748691661

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748691661.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 26 June 2022

Pleasantville: The Suburb as World

Pleasantville: The Suburb as World

Chapter:
(p.21) Chapter 1 Pleasantville: The Suburb as World
Source:
Scenes from the Suburbs
Author(s):

Timotheus Vermeulen

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748691661.003.0002

The first chapter examines how Gary Ross’ 1998 blockbuster film Pleasantville presents the nature of the suburb’s fictional world. Each film or television programme postulates its own fictional world, which in turn delineates the possibilities for, and limitations of, the plot. The fictional world of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, for instance, allows for very different plot developments than the fictional world of Sense and Sensibility. In the former, plots may come to include wizards, elves, and hobbits, resurrections and afterlives, whereas no such creations can ever populate the story world of Jane Austen. This chapter explores the kind of world the cinematic suburb might be: what are its natural laws, what is its internal logic, what can and cannot happen there? Paying close attention at the relationships between temporality, spatiality, genre and the various stylistic registers employed and drawing on the work of the Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben, it is argued that Pleasantville, the film’s eponymous suburb, is characterised by an intrinsic ontological instability that renders narrative and style per definition unpredictable, contradictory, and essentially open ended.

Keywords:   Pleasantville, Fictional world, Temporality, Spatiality, Genre, Giorgio Agamben

Edinburgh Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.