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March 1995, Week 3


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Ulf Dalquist <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 16 Mar 1995 15:31:53 CST
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----------------------------Original message----------------------------
David Desser wrote:
>    It is a commonality to say that "parody" means a genre is in decline
>and there IS a certain truth to that.  Except that genre parody has been
>with the cinema almost since the start of genre and cinema!  Two films
>called GO WEST, one by Buster Keaton and a later one by the Marx. Bros.
>certainly parodied the Western, but the Western didn't die until well after
>that!  (It's still dying, in fact.)  Some of Keaton, and of Laurel and
>Hardy, a lot of The Three Stooges, most of the Marx Bros., were genre
>parodies which did little, if anything, to kill the genres they parodied.
>The "spy thriller" was a popular subject for parody in the hey-day of James
>Bond films of the 60's, but it is still with us in "serious" form.  In
>other words, genres arise due to complex factors and once arisen, like
>Frankenstein's monster, are hard to kill.
Well, I agree, parodies have existed parallel to successful genres, but like to
add that as I seee it, the western was, if not dead, at least comatose during
the eighties. Something to discuss is whether a genre is "dead" only if no new
film are produced, or if we can bury it when no GOOD films are made (just to dig
it up as soon as someone makes a decent flick). When did you last see a spy
thriller that actually added something to the genre? Myself, I can't remember.
I'd also like to add, when it comes to the "killing of the action genre" that I
actually find The Last Action Hero a heavier assault on genre clich`es than
Tarantino's films.
Ulf Dalquist                Phone:  +46 46 104266
Dept. of Sociology          Fax:    +46 46 104794
Box 114 221 00 Lund SWEDEN  E-mail: [log in to unmask]