Are We Really Going Back to Derry? Revisiting the 1980s Through Stephen King’s It and Its Recent Adaptations

Nicolangelo Becce

Abstract


As part of a recent trend in the Hollywood industry, a number of movies and TV series with adolescent characters and set in the 1980s have been produced lately, and Andy Muschietti’s movies It Chapter One (2017) and It Chapter Two (2019), which are based on Stephen King’s novel It (1986), follow the same tendency by evoking a melancholic longing for the 1980s. However, these movies provide mostly a flat and consumerist idea of that period which is based on the constant presence on screen of representative objects of the entertainment industry for adolescents of that time. The article compares Stephen King’s It and Muschietti’s movie adaptations in order to show how, in the movies, such a superficial portrayal of the past not only reduces the complexity and depth of the context as it is described in the novel, but also fails to represent more in general the cultural and political tensions that were part of the 1980s.


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References


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