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Studying zombie films
Studying zombie films
Studying zombie films
Studying zombie films
Studying zombie films
Studying zombie films
Studying zombie films
Studying zombie films
Studying zombie films
Studying zombie films
Studying zombie films
Studying zombie films
Studying zombie films
Studying zombie films
Studying zombie films
Studying zombie films
Studying zombie films
Studying zombie films
Studying zombie films
Studying zombie films
Studying zombie films
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Studying zombie films

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Studying the Zombie Genre

Studying the Zombie Genre

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  • 1. Studying Zombie Films
  • 2. Genre <ul><li>A genre is a recognisable type of film: romance, comedy, horror, science-fiction, action/adventure… </li></ul><ul><li>Sub- genres are ‘off-shoots’ of a larger category (Horror: Zombie, Vampire, Slasher) </li></ul><ul><li>Sometimes a film borrows from more than one genre (eg ‘RomZomCom’, these films are called Hybrids </li></ul>
  • 3. Genre Defining Zombie Movies : <ul><li>White Zombie 1932 </li></ul><ul><li>I Walked with a Zombie 1943 </li></ul><ul><li>Night of the Living Dead 1968 </li></ul><ul><li>Crazies 1973 </li></ul><ul><li>Dawn of the Dead 1978 </li></ul><ul><li>Brain Dead 1990 </li></ul><ul><li>28 Days later 2002 </li></ul><ul><li>Omega Man/I am Legend 1971/2007 </li></ul><ul><li>Shaun of the Dead 2004 </li></ul><ul><li>Zombieland 2009 </li></ul>
  • 4. The Genre Cycle (Schatz) <ul><li>The Experimental/Primitive Stage </li></ul><ul><li>A form passes through an experimental stage, during which its conventions are isolated and established </li></ul>
  • 5. The Genre Cycle (Schatz) <ul><li>The Classical Stage </li></ul><ul><li>In the classic stage the conventions reach their &amp;quot;equilibrium&amp;quot; and are mutually understood by artist and audience. </li></ul>
  • 6. The Genre Cycle (Schatz) <ul><li>The Revisionist Stage </li></ul><ul><li>New formal and stylistic details are used to embellish the form and in which some of the ‘givens’ of the classical stage are questioned or revised. </li></ul>
  • 7. The Genre Cycle (Schatz) <ul><li>The Parodic/Self Reflexive Stage </li></ul><ul><li>A ‘baroque’, &apos;self-reflexive’ stage, when the form and its embellishments become the &amp;quot;substance&amp;quot; or &amp;quot;content&amp;quot; of the work. </li></ul>
  • 8. The Repertoire of Elements <ul><li>“… the producers of any single film will draw on a repertoire of generic elements. </li></ul><ul><li>Two films drawing on the same repertoire may have plenty of elements in common but still be seen differently by audiences. This is because no single film can use all of the repertoire at the same time. ” </li></ul><ul><li>Roy Stafford </li></ul>
  • 9. ROE: Generic Elements <ul><li>Iconography or ‘significant objects’ </li></ul><ul><li>Setting/location </li></ul><ul><li>Narrative </li></ul><ul><li>Characters </li></ul><ul><li>Themes </li></ul><ul><li>Style </li></ul><ul><li>Audience response </li></ul><ul><li>Target audience </li></ul>
  • 10. Romero Zombie Conventions <ul><li>A mbiguous Creation </li></ul><ul><li>we do not know what they are or are why they are here . </li></ul><ul><li>Autonomous </li></ul><ul><li>they are not under any one’s control and function under no orders. </li></ul><ul><li>Reproductive </li></ul><ul><ul><li>their bite creates more zombies </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Futile Cannibalism </li></ul><ul><li>Fragile Reanimation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>they are undead but can still be killed. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Subsequent Threat </li></ul><ul><ul><li>power struggles between surviving humans are more dangerous than the zombies themselves. </li></ul></ul>
  • 11. Rules of Zombieland (Some) <ul><li>Cardio </li></ul><ul><li>The Double Tap </li></ul><ul><li>Beware of Bathrooms </li></ul><ul><li>Wear Seat Belts </li></ul><ul><li>No Attachments </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t be a hero </li></ul><ul><li>It’s a marathon, not a sprint </li></ul><ul><li>When in doubt Know your way out </li></ul><ul><li>Check the back seat </li></ul><ul><li>Enjoy the little things </li></ul>
  • 12. What do Zombies ‘represent’ ? <ul><li>Levi Strauss ‘Binary Opposition’ </li></ul><ul><li>Derrida: ‘Undecidability’ </li></ul><ul><li>Gothic: Loss of ‘Soul’ </li></ul><ul><li>Freudian: Thanatos </li></ul>
  • 13. What’s scary about Zombies ? <ul><li>Death: The Primal Fear </li></ul><ul><li>Dying: Pain &amp; Suffering, known as ‘Body Horror’ </li></ul><ul><li>Dying before Death: Madness, Disability, Senility, Illness and ‘loss of Self’ </li></ul><ul><li>Death of Meaning &amp; Social Order </li></ul>
  • 14. What do Zombies represent? <ul><li>Myth to Resolve ‘Binary Opposition’ </li></ul><ul><li>Levi Strauss: Human Cultures create ‘Myths’ to reconcile the irreconcilable </li></ul><ul><li>anomalies created by (primitive) binary thinking. </li></ul><ul><li>Good versus Evil </li></ul><ul><li>Life versus Death </li></ul>
  • 15. Binary Opposition <ul><li>Humans create ‘Death’ and ‘Life’ </li></ul><ul><li>As opposites. They create Myth of ‘Life After Death’ and ‘Life Force’ /Soul (Vitalist Fallacy) to cope with the opposition. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ Ghosts’ and ‘Zombies’ created by the Myth </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ghost: Soul without Body </li></ul><ul><li>Zombie: Body without Soul </li></ul>
  • 16. Derrida: Undecidability <ul><li>Derrida said that Zombies are a </li></ul><ul><li>modern post-religious Myth because they blur the distinction between the living and the dead rather than making it clear- which is disturbing. </li></ul>
  • 17. Derrida: Undecidability <ul><li>Zombies are cinematic inscriptions of the failure of the “life/death” opposition…It poisons systems of order, and like all undecidables, ought to be returned to order. In zombie movies, this return to order is difficult. For a classic satisfying ending, the troubled element has to be removed, perhaps by killing it. But zombies are already dead (while alive) you can’t kill a zombie…… (Derrida) </li></ul>
  • 18. The Gothic ‘Horror’ Novel <ul><li>The ‘Gothic’ movement in the 18 th , 19 th &amp; early 20 th Centuries used the ‘Undead’ , often as a metaphor for the ‘loss of soul’ they saw caused by the ‘forces of modernity’: Industrialization, Science &amp; Rationalism. </li></ul><ul><li>The ‘Supernatural’ and ‘Uncanny’ was seen as ‘sublime’- causing awe &amp; terror </li></ul>
  • 19. Freudian Psychoanalysis <ul><li>Followers of Freud believed that there was a ‘Death Instinct that was a polar opposite to the ‘life instinct’ (Eros) </li></ul><ul><li>Habitual action, Seeking oblivion, Mindless routine, Loss of self awareness, Conformity &amp; Mob mentality are all ‘Zombie-like’ </li></ul>
  • 20. The Gothic ‘Horror’ Novel <ul><li>‘ Frankenstein’ (1818) Mary Shelley </li></ul><ul><li>The Vampyre (1819) Poliadori </li></ul><ul><li>The Mummy’ (1827) Jane Loudon </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Dracula ’ (1897) Bram Stoker </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Reanimator’ (1921) HP Lovecraft </li></ul><ul><li>‘ The Magic Island’ (1936) W.Seabrook </li></ul><ul><li>‘ I am Legend’ (1954) R Matheson </li></ul>
  • 21. The ‘Creature Features’ <ul><li>Universal Studios started the Movie Horror wave of the 1930s- ’40s </li></ul><ul><li>(Note 4/5 Monsters are ‘Undead’ </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Dracula ’ (1931) </li></ul><ul><li>Frankenstein’ (1931) </li></ul><ul><li>‘ The Mummy’ (1932) </li></ul><ul><li>‘ White Zombie’ (1932) </li></ul><ul><li>‘ The Werewolf of London’ (1935) </li></ul>

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