Cinema, Destination Image and Place Branding Cinema, Destination Image & Place Branding - Page 133

The visualization of the utopian space in American teen films and its relationship to a possibility for tourism Karen Nishioka 1 ABSTRACT Although teen films are very popular in the United States, there are not enough researches about it. It has been left unclear what kind of impact those films have to the audience, how they help define and articulate the transitional space between childhood and adulthood. I will do some close analysis for three representative teen films: The Wizard of Oz (1939), American Graffiti (1973) and Stand By Me (1986). Then I will figure out how, the films as audiovisual media, visualize that ambiguous, transitional space between childhood and adulthood. Those films basically use journey, adult narra- tor, music and cars to represent this transitional line. Finally, I will argue that those symbols of youth and growth could be linked to tourism. Touring business could help to stage that transitional line which films described in real life. Many hints about tourism are given by analyzing teen films. If teen films can get many audi- ence, then, tours whose concept is “growing up”, can get many customers. KEYWORDS: Teen films, moratorium, utopian space, growing up, journey, mobility, out-of-ordi- nary, graduation trip, tourism, the purpose of traveling Introduction In the modern world, where what Erikson named “psychological moratorium” is allowed, becoming an adult came to be a very complicated process that takes a long time. Erikson’s idea of “psychological moratorium” can be understood as a delay of adult commitments for the purpose of allowing identity formation. This idea is very influential in the postwar era. As the society develops and people become relatively richer, growing up has become more of a personal, psychological issue than a social requirement. The age one starts to make his/her living has come to differ from person to person. The choice of marriage, having children, has become optional. In the past, becoming mature physically meant that one is to be 1 Graduate Student of Kyoto University, Japan. E-mail: juneblue-sky@pony.ocn.ne.jp return to the content page 133