Cinema, Destination Image and Place Branding Cinema, Destination Image & Place Branding - Page 141

THE VISUALIZATION OF THE UTOPIAN SPACE IN AMERICAN TEEN FILMS AND ITS RELATIONSHIP TO A POSSIBILITY FOR TOURISM It is said that musicals stage utopian space when characters in the movie starts to dance and sing. 6 American Graffiti is not a musical. However, the music played in the movie has almost the same effect to make audience feel that way when they are watching musicals. Music has an effect to introduce characters and audience to utopian space. Most of the music played in this film is diegetic because kids are usually listening to the radio in the car. However, in some important scenes, the music plays very a role to express characters’ inner feelings as well. This issue will be discussed in chapter 3, where it is related to the representation of cars in the film. The point here is, music in American Graffiti plays a role to give audience trig- ger to relate himself to this movie, reminding one’s own past experience as well as introducing people to the utopian space. In both Stand By Me and American Graffiti, the point of view to look back on the past is the process of visualization of utopia in a way that it gives meaning to something that might not have really existed: that “particular” night when one grows up to become an adult. They help to give meaning to youth not only for the audience but also for the creator of those stories. According to Speed, Stand By Me is based on an autobiographical story by Stephen King, and auteur George Lucas has stated that American Graffiti is partly autobio- graphical, The nostalgic teen film is the work of a usually male adult who is engaged in reflecting on the era associated with his youth. In this light, it may ne argued that Stand By Me and American Graffiti are not necessary intended for youth audience at all, but for adults whose experience of the film would involve reminiscing on a past youth. (29) After all, it is only after when one already crossed that fantastic line between childhood and adulthood can one see that line. The novelists in the films might be the mouthpiece of the directors and writers who created those stories. With their help, audience also comes to see that invisible line they have already crossed in the past. 3. The Representation of The Utopian Space in Teen Films and The Theme of Mobility As discussed above, one of the most classical films about growing up is The Wizard of Oz. In that film, even before the Eriksonian idea of “psychological mora- 6 Obviously, in the Wizard of Oz, which is a musical, music helps to create utopian space in the movie. return to the content page 141