Orienting the Coppolas: A New Approach to U.S. Film Imperialism

Aaron Nyerges


This article proposes an interdisciplinary critical approach to American film empire and, more specifically, the study of the Coppola family in East Asia. By drawing from feminist, postcolonial and psychoanalytic intellectual traditions, it's possible to elicit the way the various texts and films by Francis, Eleanor, and Sofia Coppola condense in their compositions the patriarchal and imperial social relations that sustained them. Forwarding the theory that texts can be arranged as "families," in so far as one text defamaliarises a set of others, this essay suggests that prevailing methods of deimperialisation must also demystify the separation between the domestic and foreign, race and family. Doing so, in this case, requires elucidating the intercut global and familial facets that crisscross 'Apocalypse Now', 'Lost in Translation', and Eleanor's diary of a 1970s film colony in the Philippines.

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