Volume 8 Issue 4

American Beauty and the Gaze of the Second Camera

Eighteen years ago, the film American Beauty was released. The film celebrates no particularly important anniversary, so why this current moment to look into it? For this question, I have no answer other than American Beauty deserves at every moment a thorough analysis. The film follows the life and death of Lester Burnham, a upper-middleclass suburban father who gains a particular infatuation with his daughter’s high school friend. Over the course of the film, Lester attempts to return to the glory days of his adolescence, quitting his job, smoking weed, and working out. Eventually, he is murdered by his neighbor out of suspicion that Lester is in a relationship with his teenage son.