Western genre

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Western genre

  1. 1. Genres: The Western<br />
  2. 2. What is Genre?<br />A category of artistic composition, as in music, film, or literature, characterized by similarities in form, style, or subject matter – New Oxford American Dictionary<br />Organized categories of texts<br />Exist in academic, popular and industry discourse<br />Put into categories by:<br />Subject matter<br />Conventions <br />Themes<br />Narrative<br />
  3. 3. Functions of Genres<br />Leads the audience to interpret texts in particular ways <br />Lets viewers know what to expect<br />Gives creators ideas about how to put pieces together<br />Industry strategy of appealing to specific audiences<br />
  4. 4. Examples of genre<br />Science Fiction<br />Horror<br />War<br />Epics/Historical<br />Action/Adventure<br />Drama<br />Comedy<br />Crime/Gangster<br />Musicals <br />Sub genres:<br /><ul><li>Biopics
  5. 5. Detective/Mystery
  6. 6. Disaster
  7. 7. Fantasy
  8. 8. Film Noir
  9. 9. Melodramas
  10. 10. Sports
  11. 11. Supernatural
  12. 12. Thriller/Suspense</li></li></ul><li>The Western Genre<br />Western Genre Conventions <br />Historical Basis<br />Plot Elements/Themes <br />Iconography<br />
  13. 13. Historical basis <br />The Western is an American genre, which interprets and represents its history to itself<br />Set approximately between 1860 – 1910<br />Period of American western expansion <br />Popular characters based on actual individuals: Wyatt Earp, Jesse James, Wild Bill Hickok<br />
  14. 14. The Western’s Plot elements/themes<br />Central Theme: The Binary of Civilization and Savagery/Lawlessness<br />East vs. West<br />Culture vs. Nature<br />Community vs. Individual<br />Settlersvs. “Indians”<br />Train vs. Horse<br />Westerns as American mythology<br />Foundational myth – the forging of a nation<br />
  15. 15. Western plot elements/themes<br />Patterns of action<br />The nomadic Westerner comes to a town, purges it of its savage elements, and leaves<br />A group of gunmen are hired to defend villagers from bandits <br />Revenge Plots <br />Narrative Tropes<br />The climacticgunfight<br />Indian attacks <br />The cavalry rescue<br />
  16. 16. The traditional Western Hero<br />In between position: mediates between civilization and the lawless frontier<br />Marginalized figure outside of the community<br />Commonly motivated by revenge and/or sense of justice<br />Adheres to a code<br />Stagecoach<br />
  17. 17. Western Iconography: mise-en-scene<br />Geography<br />An actual place: the American West<br />The landscape: deserts, mountains, rivers, Monument Valley<br />Symbolic:wilderness as a site of savagery<br />The frontier: the border of civilization and lawlessness<br />
  18. 18. Western Iconography: Mise-en-scene<br />
  19. 19. Western iconography/mise-en-scene<br />
  20. 20. Western iconography/Mise-en-scene<br />
  21. 21. Genre cycles<br />Genres are neither static nor fixed; they undergo change over time with each new film either adding to the tradition or modifying it.<br />Western a popular genre of<br /> B movie fare since 1903 <br />Classical Phase: <br />Stagecoach (John Ford, 1939)<br />Elevates the Western to A status<br />Solidifies conventional tropes<br />
  22. 22. Genre cycles<br />Post-war Phase<br />High Noon (Frank Zinnemann, 1952)<br />Plot takes place in “real time”<br />Denies the usual generic pleasures<br />Kane as an individual with a code<br />Film editing/framing emphasizes <br /> the isolation of the hero<br />
  23. 23. Genre Cycles<br />Widescreen Westerns<br />The Searchers (John Ford, 1956)<br />Emphasizes the widescreen landscape<br />More complex protagonist<br />The salient techniques of<br /> style: cinematography<br />
  24. 24. Genre cycles<br />The Revisionist Western<br />The Wild Bunch (Sam Peckinpah, 1969)<br />
  25. 25. Genre cycles<br />‘Spaghetti’ Westerns<br />A Fistful of Dollars (Sergio Leone, 1964)<br />For A Few Dollars More (Leone, 1965)<br />The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (Leone, 1966)<br />
  26. 26. Genre Mixing<br />Yojimbo(Akira Kurosawa, 1961)<br />Jidaigekigenre<br />Influenced by the films<br /> of John Ford<br />Loosely based on Dashiell<br />Hammet’sRed Harvest (1929) <br />Basis for A Fistful of Dollars &<br /> Last Man Standing (Walter Hill, 1996)<br />
  27. 27. Genre mixing: Science Fiction & the Western<br />Star Wars (George Lucas, 1977)<br />Influenced by the films of John Ford and Akira Kurosawa: The Searchers & The Hidden Fortress<br />Westworld(Michael Crichton, 1973)<br />Outland (Peter Hyams, 1981)<br />Based on High Noon<br />Star Trek(1966-1969)<br />“Wagon train to the stars”<br />Firefly (Whedon, 2002)<br />
  28. 28. Genre mixing<br />Post-apocalyptic Western<br />Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (George Miller, 1981)<br />
  29. 29. Genre mixing<br />Science Fiction/Horror<br />Alien (Ridley Scott, 1979)<br />Science Fiction/Film Noir<br />Blade Runner (Scott, 1982)<br />Science Fiction/War<br />Starship Troopers <br />(Paul Verhoeven, 1997)<br />

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