New Hollywood and Kramer vs. Kramer

Megan C. Lewis 9092806

Description/Abstract

New Hollywood, also known as American New Wave, is a period of time in American cinematic history between the mid-1960s to the early 1980’s. With New Hollywood, it was the first time that film was seen as a director’s medium. A new generation of young filmmakers came because popular in the United States and were influential in the types of films they were creating. However, there is not a set style that is linked to this movement; it is more a period of time. The main common denominator among all the films in the New Hollywood era was that their narrative strayed from “Classical Hollywood” norms. I will be focusing on the film, Kramer vs. Kramer (1979) in how its narrative deviates from typical family-centered films, specifically the roles within motherhood and fatherhood.

In familial films, there are always certain roles that each family member falls into. Stereotypically, there is the doted mother, the over-worked father, the annoying younger sibling, and so on. With New Hollywood, this narrative shifts to show the audience something more realistic and slightly off-kilter. Many film critics of Kramer vs. Kramer discuss these roles as they are represented in the film, especially those of the mother and father (Bertin; Ibrahim). Another author is able to narrow in on the father by analyzing what is going on emotionally (Rochberg).

Families are often the focal point of films, because it is something that everyone can relate to. Films like Kramer vs. Kramer allow a glimpse into something real that many families experience. This movement within American New Wave cinema is an important one for the sake of understanding what makes these films significant in the history of film.

 
Mar 24th, 2:00 PM Mar 24th, 2:50 PM

New Hollywood and Kramer vs. Kramer

New Hollywood, also known as American New Wave, is a period of time in American cinematic history between the mid-1960s to the early 1980’s. With New Hollywood, it was the first time that film was seen as a director’s medium. A new generation of young filmmakers came because popular in the United States and were influential in the types of films they were creating. However, there is not a set style that is linked to this movement; it is more a period of time. The main common denominator among all the films in the New Hollywood era was that their narrative strayed from “Classical Hollywood” norms. I will be focusing on the film, Kramer vs. Kramer (1979) in how its narrative deviates from typical family-centered films, specifically the roles within motherhood and fatherhood.

In familial films, there are always certain roles that each family member falls into. Stereotypically, there is the doted mother, the over-worked father, the annoying younger sibling, and so on. With New Hollywood, this narrative shifts to show the audience something more realistic and slightly off-kilter. Many film critics of Kramer vs. Kramer discuss these roles as they are represented in the film, especially those of the mother and father (Bertin; Ibrahim). Another author is able to narrow in on the father by analyzing what is going on emotionally (Rochberg).

Families are often the focal point of films, because it is something that everyone can relate to. Films like Kramer vs. Kramer allow a glimpse into something real that many families experience. This movement within American New Wave cinema is an important one for the sake of understanding what makes these films significant in the history of film.