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Keywords:

  • applied analysis;
  • film;
  • interpretation

An approach to the analysis of cultural narratives is proposed drawing inspiration from Lévi-Strauss’s analysis of myths as fantasied resolutions of conflicts and contradictions in culture and of typical dilemmas of human life. An example of such an analysis revolves around contradictions in the Western cultural construction of the succession of generations. The logic of the structural analysis of cultural representations is explicated, the schema of the succession scenario is laid out, and the conflicts that generate it are identified. The movie Slumdog Millionaire is examined in some detail as an illustration of the succession scenario at work, and a comparative analysis shows how the same underlying schema accounts for otherwise obscure aspects of comparable contemporary popular narratives including Harry Potter, The Lion King and Star Wars.