Visions of Aging

Images of the Elderly in Film

By Amir Cohen-Shalev

The interface of old age and cinema provides a fascinating yet uncharted territory in the humanities and social sciences. In Visions of Aging, two central perspectives are explored: movies on old age by old filmmakers and movies on old age by younger artists. The first perspective focuses on the cinematic representation of aging from within, whereas the second examines the ways aging is viewed from the outside. The distinction is based on the schism between the phenomenology of aging and its social representation. The one hinges on intrinsic qualities of "old age style" or "late style" while the second addresses attitudes towards old age in general, as well as towards aging artists and the reception (or rejection) of their late films. The author combines these general perspectives as they shift between text and context, beginning with aging from the outside in order to introduce the semantics and pragmatics of the context (reception and filmmaking stylistic change; midlife images of old age) and continuing into the world of aging as cinematically represented from within by old filmmakers - an often idiosyncratic, metaphysical, and sometimes unapproachable world. By providing a roadmap that charts previous scholarly paths of inquiry, this book offers a panoramic view of the direction of this new field of cinematic gerontology, and is essential reading for students and scholars of cinema, humanistic gerontology, psychology of art, the sociology of old age, and popular culture.


148 pages

Publication Date: 1/1/2009
Format: Cloth
ISBN: 9781845192808