Cinema, Destination Image and Place Branding Cinema, Destination Image & Place Branding - Page 137

THE VISUALIZATION OF THE UTOPIAN SPACE IN AMERICAN TEEN FILMS AND ITS RELATIONSHIP TO A POSSIBILITY FOR TOURISM Witnessing death and feeling death close to them has an effect to express their departure from childhood. In those movies, the young protagonists reborn as an adult after experiencing death in some way. The motif of death is effectively used to symbolize a trigger to the growth. Just as Dorothy finds company on the road and deepens the tie with them, along the way, the boys find out the value of friendship. Especially Chris and Gor- don deepen the ties by becoming each other’s substitute for their malfunctioned family: Chris becoming Gordon’s father instead of his biological father who is too depressed with the death of Gordon’s elder brother. The difference between those two films is that while Dorothy’s company later turns out to be the members that consists her family in real life, which makes her reevaluate her old way of life, Chris and Gordon finds a new family substitute in each other and prepare themselves to leave their old home and family. The goal of Dorothy’s journey was to accept her own family. The boys in Stand By Me become independent from their parents after the journey. In Stand By Me, all four boys have troubles in their family and long to separate from them. In both films, the protagonist(s) takes a journey and returns home. Yet, the difference is that although Dorothy finds home a comfortable place and reevalu- ates its preciousness, which will certainly make her stay home in the future, the boys in Stand By Me, during their journey, finds it more comfortable to be with friends of the same age rather then with their family, which foretells that they will soon find a female partner of their own age and leave parents to create a family of their own. For boys, after the journey, “somehow, the town seems different— smaller”. Clearly, Stand By Me is more conscious about focusing on the growth of its protagonists than The Wizard of Oz. 2 Moreover, although the land of Oz basically does not exist and it is only hap- pening inside Dorothy’s dream, the journey to find a dead body for the four kids in Stand By Me actually happens. The land of Oz is too much of a literal description of utopia because it does not exist. It only exists in the fantasy. Thus, it is literally a realization of “nowhere”. 3 It only exists in our imagination or in fiction. However, in the case of Stand By Me, the utopian space is described in the realm of reality. Stand By Me’s journey is much more relatable to the audience because what happens in 2 This might be considered as the representation of modern family which doe s not function well enough for kids. 3 The concept of the land of Oz follows the traditional idea of utopia represented by musical films. return to the content page 137