Genre: The Western
GenreA category of film, such as the western, thehorror film, the costume drama, themelodrama, and so on, with recognizabl...
Semantic Approach        Syntactic ApproachFocus on similarities    Focus on change and                         developmen...
Semantic Approach       Syntactic ApproachThe Western is a film   The Western is awhose action,           genre that resul...
Semantic Approach        Syntactic Approach= broad applicability.   = explanatory power.
Semantic Approach         Syntactic ApproachThe Western hero is       How do variations intypically a nomadic       the We...
Conventions           (Semantic Elements)o Settingso Character Typeso Costumes and Propso Plots/Situationso Conflictso Cin...
Overlapping Thematic Clashes            (Syntactic Relationships)The West as                        The West asas garden  ...
The Western as Myth“ . . . in The Searchers (dir. John Ford, 1956)there is a direct confrontation with the fact thatthe or...
Repeated Imagesin The Searchers
Marriages on the Border        Debbie and Scar        Marty and Look        Marty and Laurie
Genre The Western
Genre The Western
Genre The Western
Genre The Western
Genre The Western
Genre The Western
Genre The Western
Genre The Western
Genre The Western
Genre The Western
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Genre The Western

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  • How many of the elements in The Searchers are conventions of the genre? What variations does The Searchers put on them?
  • Genre The Western

    1. 1. Genre: The Western
    2. 2. GenreA category of film, such as the western, thehorror film, the costume drama, themelodrama, and so on, with recognizableconventions and character types.
    3. 3. Semantic Approach Syntactic ApproachFocus on similarities Focus on change and development overFixed meanings, what timeremains constant Variable relationships between structuredBuilding blocks of the elementsgenre
    4. 4. Semantic Approach Syntactic ApproachThe Western is a film The Western is awhose action, genre that resultssituated in the from severalAmerican West, is overlapping thematicconsistent with the clashes: the West asatmosphere , the desert vs. the West asvalues, and theconditions of garden; nature vs.existence in the Far culture; the individualWest between 1840 vs. community.and 1900.
    5. 5. Semantic Approach Syntactic Approach= broad applicability. = explanatory power.
    6. 6. Semantic Approach Syntactic ApproachThe Western hero is How do variations intypically a nomadic the Western heromale loner who represent changingcomes to town, images of masculinitypurges it of its savage and changing attitudesor criminal elements, toward the history ofand leaves. He is Western settlement?often motivated byrevenge and/or asense of justice.
    7. 7. Conventions (Semantic Elements)o Settingso Character Typeso Costumes and Propso Plots/Situationso Conflictso Cinematic elements: cinematography, mise-en- scene
    8. 8. Overlapping Thematic Clashes (Syntactic Relationships)The West as The West asas garden vs. as desertCulture NatureCommunity Individual
    9. 9. The Western as Myth“ . . . in The Searchers (dir. John Ford, 1956)there is a direct confrontation with the fact thatthe origin of the territorial U.S. rested on avirulent racism and genocidal war againstaboriginal peoples, a war that would not havebeen possible and perhaps would not have beenwon without the racist hatred of characters likethe John Wayne character.”- Robert B. Pippin, “What Is a Western? Politics and Self-Knowledge inJohn Ford’s The Searchers,” Critical Inquiry 35.2 (2009)
    10. 10. Repeated Imagesin The Searchers
    11. 11. Marriages on the Border Debbie and Scar Marty and Look Marty and Laurie
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