Fathers on Film. Paternity and Masculinity in 1990s Hollywood, Katie Barnett (2020)

+ info: Bloomsbury

The father is an enduring and iconic figure in Hollywood cinema and in the 1990s, narratives of redemptive fatherhood featured prominently in some of the decade’s most popular films like Kindergarten Cop (1990), Mrs Doubtfire (1993), Jurassic Park (1993) and The Lion King (1994). Interpreting such films through the lens of feminist and queer theory, along with masculinity studies and psychoanalysis, Katie Barnett offers an insightful and interdisciplinary discussion of cinematic fathers.
Barnett reveals that the father figure is often portrayed as one that invests in and is part of a discourse of reproductive futurism. This plays out across a range of genres including rom-coms, fantasy, sci-fi, drama, and disaster. By exploring both blockbuster and more low-budget films of the 1990s, Barnett explores the figure of the father against the crisis of masculinity in the United States, and indeed more globally, at this time.

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