The family unit has been a central theme in movies since the earliest days of the medium- whether as a locus of domestic bliss, a dysfunctional source of drama, a collection of comic personalities or an inferno of repressed feelings. This new anthology brings the subject into sharp focus, collecting a range of multidisciplinary perspectives that attempt to directly penetrate the questions raised by the role of the family onscreen. Discussing a wide range of contemporary and classic films, from House of Strangers (1949) and Mary Poppins (1964) to Superstar (1987), The Royal Tenenbaums (2001) and Brokeback Mountain (2005), this study addresses the nature of family values in cinema, and the 'family' nature of the Hollywood production system itself. With a wealth of historical background and contemporary analysis, this volume is a penetrating view of the oldest and most influential social institution as imagined for the screen.
Murray Pomerance is Chair of Sociology at Ryerson University, and the author of An Eye for Hitchcock (2004).