antihero

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antihero

a central character in a novel, play, etc., who lacks the traditional heroic virtues
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Given that Fields was fond of showcasing his antiheroic screen comedy in a world of small town, mealy-mouthed sanctimoniousness reflects his undoubted influence by what literature terms "the revolt from the village." This movement of the late 1910s and 1920s focused on the dead-end hypocrisy of small town life, but it was, according to literary scholar Anthony Channell Hilfer, "an overall attack on middle-class American civilization." This new artistic wrinkle was precipitated by poet Edgar Lee Masters' "Spoon River Anthology" (1915), although it took several years for the influence of the book to permeate popular culture.
For instance, the chapter on Fields' greatest film, his antiheroic classic, "It's a Gift," also examines how the comedian's best huckster (his other persona) picture, "The Old-Fashioned Way" (1934), opened in the same calendar year.
Vastly different from the authoritarianism of scale and place that underlie much of high modernism, Gego's random, antiheroic grids and structures develop a rhythmic understanding of space that is more organic than monumental.
For example, the nervous antiheroic persona of Eddie Cantor was complemented by his helter-skelter dance steps whenever he sang one of his novelty songs.
First, thanks in no small part to the antiheroic films of Laurel and Hardy and W.C.
How to answer to history in a moment when "anything goes" remains a fundamental question, but it's the somewhat unexpected, unsentimental, and non-nostalgic "return" to those heroics that makes Martin's own investigation prepossessing, especially freshened with the bracing antiheroic potential of Agnes Martin, Ree Morton, and Mary Heilmann, and with the grubby energy of the street.
Dark comedy often is about a central antiheroic figure who is no more than a leaf in the wind--constantly buffeted about by the world around him.
Geoff Kleem's large color photographs are as antiheroic as contemporary art gets.
The thinking here is that, just as repeated small screen appearances of "The Wizard of Oz" (1939) and "It's a Wonderful Life" (1946) turned those movies into cherished classics (almost rite of passage pictures), the sudden easy availability of Dean's two most antiheroic films (at the beginning of the anti-establishment 1960s) help solidify his status as the patron saint of the misfit and the misunderstood.
In fact, McKenzie's subject in these works was her boyfriend, dressed up in Tintin costume but substituting a brooding intensity for the original character's perpetually callow mien, as if the dismal and antiheroic trajectory of modern history had finally sunk in.
Screwball comedy traded upon this antiheroic element, such as the ritualistic humiliation of the male, be it Gable's inability to make his hitchhiking techniques work, or the extremes to which Barrymore will go to raise money for a play.
The Big Red One (Samuel Fuller) Fuller's butchered swan song, lovingly reconstructed by Richard Schickel, now finds its antiheroic twin in Nicholas Ray's recently restored Bitter Victory.