Pop culture and media are two of America’s biggest exports, especially in this highly networked and digital world that we live in today. American movies have been seen by a huge variety of audiences within the states and abroad. The way each state is portrayed in the movies tends to be rather representative of stereotypes. One example is the presence of southern accents, confederate flags, and cowboy-inspired outfits in “The Dukes of Hazzard,” which is set in Georgia. For foreign audiences that have never been to America, these movies can often supply them with an artificial set of ideals about America or reinforce the preconceived notions they already have. What America means to me is not just a list of movies that were filmed in certain states but the set of collective stereotypes that are exported by Americans that serve as accessible “windows” into American life for people who have never been here.
On a more basic level, the scenery and landmarks shown in these movies also provides connections between each state and “how it’s supposed to look.” For example, after watching “The Parent Trap” I now picture Maine as one big summer camp- complete with trees, mountains, and lakes!
I have created a Prezi that contains a few titles of movies inside of the states in which they took place to illustrate the connection between the movies and the states: