From The Wizard of Oz to Lolita , from Heathers to Spice Girls - The Movie , images of girlhood have been projected on the silver screen in myriad ways. Films have depicted society's problematic expectations of girls together with the dreams, anxieties and tensions experienced by girls themselves. In examining the construction of girlhood from many angles, this collection of essays attempts to capture the richness of meaning behind girl films , but also explores the recent resurgence of youth-orientated cinema and the relationship of young female viewers to that medium. The 20 essays approach the construction of girlhood from a variety of perspectives, including reception, production, star images and textual analyses, while exploring such topics as star power, the Riot Grrrl movement, coming of age and loss of incence. Among the characters given special attention are those in Gidget , Crooklyn , Titanic , Freeway and Girls Town . Written for general and academic readers, this work offers a livley discussion of gender in youth-orientated films.
Frances Gateward teaches courses in film and popular culture in the Program in Film and Video and the Center for Afro-American and African Studies at the University of Michigan. Her work has been published in a number of journals and anthologies. She is the editor of Zhang Yimou: Interviews (2001). Murray Pomerance is professor and chair in the department of sociology at Ryerson University. His books include Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls: Gender in Film at the end of the 20th Century (2001) and Bang Bang Shoot Shoot! Essays on Violence and Popular Culture (1998).