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Publication Date



UM campus only

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Motion Pictures (Communication)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

William Rothman - Committee Chair

Second Committee Member

Robert Casillo - Committee Member

Third Committee Member

Christina Lane - Committee Member


An analysis of American independent cinema from 1990 until 2007, with an emphasis on these films? relationship to the Remarriage Comedies of the 1930s and 1940s. There is a uniquely American tendency to use cinema to reevaluate marriage that was most clearly evident in the Remarriage Comedies of the 1930s and 1940s, this thesis contends that this tendency has emphatically reemerged in American independent cinema since 1990. Using detailed analyses of films that most clearly evidence the persistence of this theme, this thesis explores, in-depth, four films: Hal Hartley?s Trust (1990), Richard Linklater?s Before Sunrise (1995) and Before Sunset (2004), and Aaron Katz?s Quiet City (2007). These four films combine to form a coherent vision of a new perspective on romantic coupling, uniting to together show what they are rebelling against, what their new relationships should be built upon, and, finally, what the new kind of relationship that they present can look like. The definitively American theme that is delineated in these four films not only forms a clear connection to the history of American cinema, but also shows how new generations approach the essential questions implicit in coupling and marriage.


Richard Linklater; Hal Hartley; Remarriage Comedy; Comedy Of Remarriage; Aaron Katz