Coming of Age in Films

The story of films is the story of human development. From the very first story that defined the birth of our civilization—the Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh, a story of immortality, aging and death—comes a tale of why we age. We are a species of storytellers. The stories we tell to each other define who we are. However, since we are living in a world marked by age apartheid, our interaction with people across different generations is becoming more limited. As a result, the information we gain about older people comes mostly from secondary sources. For the general public, films remain the most accessible form of information regarding getting older. From the early exposure of cartoons to more elaborate dramas, our knowledge of what it means to become old relies on our exposure to films.

This volume provides insight into how accurate these representations are in line with current knowledge that we have about aging and older adults. Arguing that films present a simplified view of aging, this analysis relies on scientific evidence to explore why and how such stereotypes affect us. Stereotypes have the ability of being internalized and becoming prescriptive of our behavior. Numerous studies have attempted different ways of understanding the impact films have on aging. Theories as seemingly disparate as feminism and disability have contributed to our understanding of how stereotypes influence our aging process. This text builds upon this knowledge and provides new insights by applying current gerontological knowledge—the science of aging—to unpack and analyze the images of aging that films are providing. By readdressing this focus on gerontological theories—as diverse as biology and psychology—the book readdresses an overlooked approach.

Mario Garrett, PhD, is Professor of Gerontology at San Diego State University. He received his PhD from the University of Bath, UK, and has over 38 years’ experience in large data management, manipulation, and analyses. As the team leader of a United Nations Population Fund, and as the Program Manager and Director of Programs with the United Nations International Institute on Aging, he coordinated a five-year project looking at support for the elderly in the People’s Republic of China. He founded the journal BOLD, which in 2017 was renamed as the International Journal on Ageing in Developing Countries, and he has published six books, over 30 refereed papers and more than 200 blogs and editorials. Since 2010, he has curated, hosted and managed an annual film festival on aging in connection with the Museum of Photographic Arts in San Diego, and, since 2016, he has been curating and hosting an annual Montclair, NJ, Film Festival on Aging.

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Mario Garrett

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ISBN: 1-5275-2628-3

ISBN13: 978-1-5275-2628-0

Release Date: 8th March 2019

Pages: 288

Price: £61.99