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Abstract

In “Ideology, Genre, Auteur,” Robin Wood says that by approaching film through the framework of ideological theory, we can become sensitized to “the opposing pulls, the tensions, of one’s world (593).” Even in a film that is not explicitly political, these tensions can find expression. In Frances Ha (Baumbach 2012), a young woman struggles to chase her dream while also staying afloat in the harsh landscape of New York City. Until near the end of the film, it seems that Frances might float forever. The supports that Americans used to take for granted are no longer apparent. Having lost her companion/partner, Sophie, and being disconnected from her family, Frances struggles alone. By looking at the film through ideological theory, we can see how France Ha expresses the tension produced by a dominant ideology that is constantly in flux, then resolves those tensions by emphasizing and reinforcing one of its most important values: individuality expressed by personal initiative, enterprise, and ownership.

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