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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Deconstructing the Superhero: American Idols in Film

  • Author(s): Van Heertum, Richard;
  • Hinton, Kip Austin
  • et al.

Making the short video documentary, "Deconstructing the Superhero: American Idols in Film" on the politics of superheros was a whirlwind experience. We learned film making techniques while expanding our analysis of popular culture, especially in relation to media constructions of masculinity. Research was situated within the historical context of film studies and included interactions with students and faculty, both inside and outside of the classroom. Our film contained both short interviews with students framed by a longer interview with Emeritus Professor John Lawrence who has written extensively on the role of superheros in American culture. We then juxtaposed these interviews with clips from a number of recent superhero films. Our documentary not only offered an entry way into video/ film making techniques, but it also encouraged a more critical view of media itself.

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