Images of Love and Money in Hollywood Cinema: Changing Patterns in the Last Decades

By Elena Oliete.

Published by The International Journal of the Image

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Article: Electronic $US5.00

The 23-year gap which separates the two films Oliver Stone made on Wall Street reveal the dramatic social and economic changes that contextualize these cinematographic productions. While 1987 film focused on the world of luxury and the greed of Wall Street sharks whose unethical practices were finally punished by American justice, the more recent film sequel offers a more pessimistic tone, highlighting the complex causes of the current economic crisis. The 2010 sequel thus shows that nowadays “greed not only is good, but also legal”. In such unstable times, the movie questions the importance of love and family relations as a “lifeboat” when everything else sinks. In the first film, it was the family that finally saved the main character. In contrast, the sequel shows that love and family relationships have become quite unsteady, thus provoking a sense of loss that drives individuals to nostalgically long for an imaginary home that represents a place of comfort, safety, and refuge. In this paper, my aim is to analyze the cinematographic representations of money in connection with love and family relations in the different socio-economic contextual backgrounds of Oliver Stone’s Wall Street films.

Keywords: Hollywood Cinema, Wall Street, Economy, Love Relationships, Globalization

The International Journal of the Image, Volume 2, Issue 2, pp.113-126. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 759.131KB).

Dr. Elena Oliete

Lecturer, Department of English Studies, University of Zaragoza, Zaragoza, Aragón, Spain

Elena Oliete is lecturer in business English at the Department of English Philology at the University of Zaragoza (Spain). She is a member of a research group on cinema and cultural studies and has published articles on cinema, media culture and post-colonial literature in national and international journals. She has research interests in issues of gender and ethnic representation in Hollywood and transnational cinema from a cultural studies approach.