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Approaches to interpreting genre films. Romantic comedy and Annie Hall.

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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

    1. 1. GENRE
    2. 2. Genre A category of film, such as the western, the horror film, the costume drama, the melodrama, and so on, with recognizable conventions and character types.
    3. 3. Using Genre to Interpret Films 1. Genre conventions 2. Genre evolution and transformation 3. Genre and cultural values 4. Genre and authorship
    4. 4. 1. Genre Conventions Repetition and Variation o Settings o Character Types o Costumes and Props o Plots/Situations o Conflicts o Cinematic elements: cinematography, mise-en- scene
    5. 5. 2. Genre Evolution and Transformation
    6. 6. 3. Genre and Cultural Values • Genre films are the modern equivalent of a cultural mythology. • How do genre films reaffirm or subvert cultural values? • What cultural fantasies, fears, and conflicts do genre films act out?
    7. 7. Genre and Authorship How do great directors work with genre conventions to assert a personal vision? Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining
    8. 8. Romantic Comedy
    9. 9. “Romantic comedy is, arguably, the lowest of the low. . . . Romcoms are viewed as ‘guilty pleasures’ which should be below one’s notice but . . . which satisfy because they provide easy, uncomplicated pleasures.” - Tamar Jeffers McDonald, Romantic Comedy: Boy Meets Girl Meets Genre
    10. 10. Annie Hall
    11. 11. 1. Conventions • What romantic comedy conventions does Annie Hall repeat, vary, or reject? • What makes Annie Hall a romantic comedy? • What makes it different from other romantic comedies?
    12. 12. 2. Genre Evolution and Transformation
    13. 13. Romantic Comedy Cycles 1. Screwball comedies 2. The sex comedy 3. The radical romantic comedy 4. The neo-traditional romantic comedy 5. Today?
    14. 14. Screwball Comedy It Happened One Night, His Girl Friday, Bringing Up Baby • Characters behave in unpredictable and unconventional ways • Fast dialogue, insults, wordplay • Combination of sophistication and slapstick • Love is a game which he and she both want to win, usually end in a draw • Romance is a prelude to marriage
    15. 15. Sex Comedy Some Like It Hot, Pillow Talk, Lover Come Back • Pits woman against man in a battle of wits, in which the goal of both is sex, but the man wants sex before and the woman after marriage. • Disguise and masquerade, usually with a sexual motive • A hierarchy of knowledge, in which he knows more than she • Reversions and inversions of the natural order
    16. 16. Radical Romantic Comedy The Graduate, Annie Hall, Harold and Maude • Self-reflexivity about the romantic relationship and the importance of sex to both genders • Self-reflexivity as a film • Self-reflexivity as a modern and more realistic form of romantic comedy in contrast to earlier films
    17. 17. Neo-Traditional Romantic Comedy When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle, You’ve Got Mail, My Big Fat Greek Wedding • Reasserts the “boy meets, loses, regains girl” structure • Mood of nostalgia • De-emphasizing of sex • Happy ending emphasizes the forming of a lasting relationship
    18. 18. Today?
    19. 19. 3. Genre and Cultural Values Romance Marriage Sex Gender roles in a relationship
    20. 20. 4. Genre and Authorship