Stagecoach

January 5, 2018 | Author: Anonymous | Category: Arts & Humanities, Performing Arts, Drama
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Genres: The Western

WHAT IS GENRE? 

A category of artistic composition, as in music, film, or literature, characterized by similarities in form, style, or subject matter – New Oxford American Dictionary



Organized categories of texts 



Exist in academic, popular and industry discourse

Put into categories by:    

Subject matter Conventions Themes Narrative

FUNCTIONS OF GENRES Leads the audience to interpret texts in particular ways  Lets viewers know what to expect  Gives creators ideas about how to put pieces together  Industry strategy of appealing to specific audiences 

EXAMPLES OF GENRE Science Fiction  Horror  War  Epics/Historical  Action/Adventure  Drama  Comedy  Crime/Gangster  Musicals 

Sub genres: -Biopics -Detective/Mystery -Disaster -Fantasy -Film Noir -Melodramas -Sports -Supernatural -Thriller/Suspense

THE WESTERN GENRE 

Western Genre Conventions  Historical

 Plot

Basis

Elements/Themes

 Iconography

HISTORICAL BASIS 

The Western is an American genre, which interprets and represents its history to itself  Set

approximately between 1860 – 1910  Period of American western expansion  Popular characters based on actual individuals: Wyatt Earp, Jesse James, Wild Bill Hickok

THE WESTERN’S PLOT ELEMENTS/THEMES 

Central Theme: The Binary of Civilization and Savagery/Lawlessness  East

vs. West  Culture vs. Nature  Community vs. Individual  Settlers vs. “Indians”  Train vs. Horse 

Westerns as American mythology  Foundational

myth – the forging of a nation

WESTERN PLOT ELEMENTS/THEMES 

Patterns of action The nomadic Westerner comes to a town, purges it of its savage elements, and leaves  A group of gunmen are hired to defend villagers from bandits  Revenge Plots 



Narrative Tropes The climactic gunfight  Indian attacks  The cavalry rescue 

THE TRADITIONAL WESTERN HERO  In

between position: mediates between civilization and the lawless frontier  Marginalized figure outside of the community  Commonly motivated by revenge and/or sense of justice  Adheres to a code

Stagecoach

WESTERN ICONOGRAPHY: MISE-EN-SCENE 

Geography  An

actual place: the American West  The landscape: deserts, mountains, rivers, Monument Valley  Symbolic: wilderness as a site of savagery  The frontier: the border of civilization and lawlessness

WESTERN ICONOGRAPHY: MISE-EN-SCENE

WESTERN ICONOGRAPHY/MISE-EN-SCENE

WESTERN ICONOGRAPHY/MISE-EN-SCENE

GENRE CYCLES Genres are neither static nor fixed; they undergo change over time with each new film either adding to the tradition or modifying it.  Western a popular genre of B movie fare since 1903  Classical Phase: 

 Stagecoach  Elevates

(John Ford, 1939)

the Western to A status  Solidifies conventional tropes

GENRE CYCLES 

Post-war Phase  High

Noon (Frank Zinnemann, 1952)

 Plot

takes place in “real time”  Denies the usual generic pleasures  Kane as an individual with a code  Film editing/framing emphasizes the isolation of the hero

GENRE CYCLES 

Widescreen Westerns  The

Searchers (John Ford, 1956)

Emphasizes the widescreen landscape  More complex protagonist  The salient techniques of style: cinematography 

GENRE CYCLES 

The Revisionist Western  The

Wild Bunch (Sam Peckinpah, 1969)

GENRE CYCLES 

‘Spaghetti’ Westerns A

Fistful of Dollars (Sergio Leone, 1964)  For A Few Dollars More (Leone, 1965)  The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (Leone, 1966)

GENRE MIXING 

Yojimbo (Akira Kurosawa, 1961)  Jidaigeki

genre  Influenced by the films of John Ford  Loosely based on Dashiell Hammet’s Red Harvest (1929)  Basis for A Fistful of Dollars & Last Man Standing (Walter Hill, 1996)

GENRE MIXING: SCIENCE FICTION & THE WESTERN 

Star Wars (George Lucas, 1977) 

Influenced by the films of John Ford and Akira Kurosawa: The Searchers & The Hidden Fortress

Westworld (Michael Crichton, 1973)  Outland (Peter Hyams, 1981) 





Star Trek (1966-1969) 



Based on High Noon “Wagon train to the stars”

Firefly (Whedon, 2002)

GENRE MIXING 

Post-apocalyptic Western  Mad

Max 2: The Road Warrior (George Miller, 1981)

GENRE MIXING 

Science Fiction/Horror  Alien



(Ridley Scott, 1979)

Science Fiction/Film Noir  Blade



Runner (Scott, 1982)

Science Fiction/War  Starship

Troopers (Paul Verhoeven, 1997)

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