From Rome’s Aeneas to America’s Superman, stories of fictional heroes are beloved in Western culture. In recent years, those narratives have come in the form of box office-dominating action films, such as Avengers: Endgame (2019) or Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019). What makes these narratives so appealing? And how are such films a part of American cultural imperialism?
Applying a critical lens, Jerry Shu ’21 will explore the themes of these films and their impact on the post-9/11 American consciousness. Shu will begin with a discussion of American domination of the global box office, followed by a critique of several American action films. Deconstructing themes into cultural units called ‘ideologemes,’ Shu’s research attempts to promote a more critical understanding of the modern American entertainment industry and its impact on cultural values. The presentation will end with an opportunity for attendees themselves to analyze several film clips.