Cinema, Destination Image and Place Branding Cinema, Destination Image & Place Branding - Page 143

THE VISUALIZATION OF THE UTOPIAN SPACE IN AMERICAN TEEN FILMS AND ITS RELATIONSHIP TO A POSSIBILITY FOR TOURISM It represents the fact that those adolescents are always heading for somewhere, trying to get away from home, school and trying to create their own space inside the car however tiny the place is. As both in American Graffiti and another repre- sentative teen film called Rebel Without a Cause (1955), cars not only used as a sim- ple transportation and a symbol of teenagers place, where they are allowed a little more freedom, but also a machine to satisfy adolescents’ death defying desire to prove that they can ride the fastest of all. The car here represents’ teenagers’ own body. They want to make cars/themselves look cool, masculine and bigger than their own selves. Yet, sometimes, they do not know how to handle it and by using it in a wrong way, sometimes they go as far as to drive them to death. In American Graffiti, the road is always crowded with cars that are contained with teenagers. Terry uses his friend’s car to seduce a beautiful girl yet he gets into many troubles because of that same car. In American Graffiti, when Milner and Carol, the younger girl tries to set a revenge on the guys in other car, they go out of the car and put spray all over their opponent’s car. The music is played louder in this scene and the scene brightens up with a strong light. This is where they liberate their mind from their body: car. This scene shows that that cars somehow represent teenagers’ body that imprisons their mind sometimes. However, imprisoned in a car as they seem, the headlight of the car glows in the dark night, which might symbolize the brightness of the vitality of youth. The car has two different sides: positive and negative. As discussed, mobility represented by journey or by cars, is the key factor of teen films. Utopian space described in these films is nowhere. It is hard to capture because it is constantly moving. The mobility of the teen films and the represen- tation of spaces that are separated from the institutions are film’s way to visualize the utopian space. 4. Teen Films’ Representations and Its Relationship to a Possibility of Tourism as a Conclusion Adolescence is in theory, a transitional space between childhood and adult- hood, where someone try to leave home but yet to have no idea where to go. Both American Graffiti and Stand By Me, the two films that I mainly analyzed in this paper, are about leaving home. The Wizard of Oz, which is made before American Graffiti and Stand By Me also clearly visualized the utopian space despite it having been created before the establishment of the concept of “psychological moratorium”. return to the content page 143