chapter  4
22 Pages

Cinematic Landscapes and Leaking Bodies

With this chapter I take a break from ethnographies and turn to cinematic representations (which I treat from a non-representational perspective). There are many cinematic renderings of fathers and their spaces. This chapter looks at two (American Beauty, 1999 and There Will be Blood, 2007) under the motifs of bodies and landscapes and Chapter 7 looks at two more (A Perfect World, 1991 and Paris, Texas, 1983) under the motif of journeys. All four movies are award winners of varying kinds (Cannes’ Golden Globe, Oscar) and they are chosen in part for their wide critical appeal. Each tell partial stories of fathering that I call thumbnail sketches. The first two movies embolden my appetite for saying something about the capitalist-based embodiment of fatherhood and its quirky relations to US landscape ideals and imperialism. This then takes me back to ethnographies in Chapters 5 and 6 where I say something about new forms (embodiments) of fathering. These forms suggest beginning journeys (lines of flight, if you will) that are then taken up pictorially in Chapter 7 with the second pair of movies.