American Cinema of the 2000s

Themes and Variations

by Timothy Corrigan, Timothy Corrigan, Anna Everett, Sharon Willis, Thomas Schatz, Linda Ruth Williams, Dina Smith, Bob Rehak, Nora Alter, Nigel Morris, Karen Beckman, Dana Polan

Series: Screen Decades: American Culture/America

The decade from 2000 to 2009 is framed, at one end, by the traumatic catastrophe of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and, at the other, by the election of the first African American president of the United States. In between, the United States and the world witnessed the rapid expansion of new media and the Internet, such natural disasters as Hurricane Katrina, political uprisings around the world, and a massive meltdown of world economies.

Amid these crises and revolutions, American films responded in multiple ways, sometimes directly reflecting these turbulent times, and sometimes indirectly couching history in traditional genres and stories. In American Cinema of the 2000s, essays from ten top film scholars examine such popular series as the groundbreaking Matrix films and the gripping adventures of former CIA covert operative Jason Bourne; new, offbeat films like Juno; and the resurgence of documentaries like Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11.  Each essay demonstrates the complex ways in which American culture and American cinema are bound together in subtle and challenging ways.


  • Rutgers University Press; April 2012
  • ISBN: 9780813553238
  • Read online, or download in secure PDF format
  • Title: American Cinema of the 2000s
  • Series: Screen Decades: American Culture/America
  • Author: Timothy Corrigan (ed.); Timothy Corrigan (contrib.); Anna Everett (contrib.); Sharon Willis (contrib.); Thomas Schatz (contrib.); Linda Ruth Williams (contrib.); Dina Smith (contrib.); Bob Rehak (contrib.); Nora Alter (contrib.); Nigel Morris (contrib.); Karen Beckman (contrib.); Dana Polan (contrib.)
  • Imprint: Rutgers University Press

In The Press

“There is nothing like this series. Screen Decades firmly situates American cinema in the realms of material culture, popular culture, cultural narrative, reception analysis, and industrial history.”

— American Quarterly

"Corrigan offers ten essays that chronologically define the major historical events of the past decade and reveal how popular cinema can reflect cultural change. This is a thoughtful, probing look into recent history, a book that can serve as an effective primary or supplemental text for classes in media studies or interdisciplinary classes combining history, media, and social studies. Recommended."
— Choice


About The Author

TIMOTHY CORRIGAN is a professor of English and cinema studies at the University of Pennsylvania. His many books include NewGerman Film: The Displaced Image; A Cinema without Walls: Movies and Culture after Vietnam; and The Essay Film: From Montaigne, After Marker. He is the editor of the journal Adaptation and an editorial board member of Cinema Journal.