Since the late 90s of the 20th century there have been two trends in American filmmaking industry, both inspired by the cinematic past. They are the passion and the epic themes.
The passion includes the youthful directors as Quentin Tarantino, Steven Soderbergh, Joel and Nathan Coen and Cameron Crowe. The trend is to replicate the unconventional movies of the 1960s and 1970s. This desire has been expressed in such films as Sex, Lies and Videotape Pulp Fiction. The Usual Suspects, Fargo, L.A. Confidential, High Fidelity and The Royal Tenenbaums.
Thus, in its multiple narratives and ironic description of American show business, Paul Thomas Anderson’s Magnolia has been a recollection of Robert Altman’s Nashville. Rob Marshall’s Chicago has been structured exactly like Bob Fosse’s Cabaret, with the events on stage reflecting the events in "real" life.
The epic theme is another trend. It depicts the longing to return to the epic themes and old-fashioned storytelling of an earlier America, like in Gone with the Wind and Casablanca. This trend comprises such well-known films of James Cameron’s Titanic and Steven Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan. Each of these films have been brilliantly made both filled with trust in a better future after all the hard lessons of life were absorbed.
In conclusion, what makes modern American films most "American" is their refusal to hit an audience with a social message. They focus on human relationships and private feelings They tell tales about romance (Shakespeare in Love, High fidelity), intrigue (The Usual Suspects, L.A. Confidential), success and failure (Chicago, American Beauty), moral conflicts (Pulp Fiction), and survival (Titanic, Saving Private Ryan). This approach reflects the traditional American faith in the individual.
(Adapted from "Arts in America")
the passion — страсть
to replicate smth — дублировать, копировать что-то
Pulp Fiction — «Криминальное чтиво» (название фильма)
multiple narratives — множество повествований
Saving Private Ryan — «Спасти рядового Райана» (название фильма)
to be absorbed — поглощенный, впитанный
a refusal — отказ
a survival — выживание