James Dean Transfigured
The Many Faces of Rebel Iconography
Publication Year: 2007
Published by: University of Texas Press
Contributions from readers, editors, friends, family, and colleagues have enriched the contents of this book and augmented the writing process. Thanks to Stacy Gillis and J. David Slocum for their editorial virtuosity on individual chapters published separately as articles...
INTRODUCTION: The Rebel Icon
One of the legacies of American films of the fifties is their introduction of an internationally recognizable shorthand for dissent. The angry, alienated teen rebel who sneered at Eisenhower- era complacency from the big screen provided the world with a...
CHAPTER 1: Birth of an Icon
Central to the creation of the teen rebel icon is James Dean, the immensely popular actor with the tragically short life. Only twenty-four years old when he died, he encapsulated the idea of disaffection, and his presence is still at the heart of rebel iconography...
CHAPTER 2: Disneyâs Dean
Demolition derby cars crisscross the screen as the fi lm opens, at first cruising in an orderly pattern through a dirt-track intersection but then starting to careen wildly. Accompanied by the lilting strains of Strauss waltzes, they smash into each other with increasing abandon, surrounded...
CHAPTER 3: Rebel Wrecks
With The Love Bug, the Disney studio trawled the cultural waters for hip and trendy references, decontextualized those references, and returned them to the culture in nonthreatening ways. The original and its remakes exemplify the strategy of...
CHAPTER 4: The Teen Rebel
"Teenagersâ were a relatively recent phenomenon in the fifties, having emerged as a separate and unique sector as recently as the middle forties at the dawn of the postwar age. The postwar economic boom made it possible for many young people in the U.S. to...
CHAPTER 5: The Postcolonial Rebel
In the years since the birth of rebel iconography, its arc of influence has reached far and wide. Hollywoodâs domination of worldwide film distribution, maintained with the assistance of the U.S. State Department, has guaranteed that its products receive the widest possible...
CHAPTER 6: The Posthuman Rebel
Of all of the decades of the twentieth century, the one evoked most obsessively by American pop culture is the fifties. Films, fiction, television, comic books, and computer/video games are fixated by that decade and have enveloped it in a haze of mythology that obscures...
CHAPTER 7: The Virtual Rebel
On the World Wide Web, you can enter your birth date and, on the basis of biorhythms, learn your compatibility with James Dean. After performing nearly instantaneous calculations on my date, the Web site informed me that I am 38% compatible with Dean, and it...
Page Count: 260
Illustrations: 29 b&w illus.
Publication Year: 2007
OCLC Number: 712979912
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