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Certainly _Predator_ and _The Running Man_ fit better in the SF genre than
"action."
 
Scott
 
 
On Wed, 10 Jun 1998, Patricia Scheiern Lewis wrote:
 
> I'm not sure I agree.  If one considers only the classical Hollywood cinema,
> then the argument is probably valid.  However, genre definitions become
> particularly sticky in the post-classical cinema, especially post-"Star
> Wars."  Consider, for example, "True Lies" (or any of several other
> Schwarzenegger pics: "Predator," "Last Action Hero," "Commando," "Eraser"
> and "The Running Man" leap to mind).  While the plot of "True Lies"
> ostensibly places the film in the "espionage" or perhaps "thriller" genre,
> the film's emphasis on stunts, spectacle, special effects, and the
> celebrity/brand name of Schwarzenegger as action hero completely overshadow
> the "espionage" elements of the film.  Films in which the primary element or
> attraction is "action" constitute a de facto action genre.  Reviewers label
> these types of films "action" films; they're marketed as action films;
> they're aimed at a well-defined demographic of action film fans.  Most
> importantly, filmgoers generally know what to expect when they are told a
> film is an "action" film, and I think most of us on the list have some idea
> what an "action" film is.  Aren't audience expectation and recognition the
> primary factors in defining a genre?
>
> I see that the Library of Congress does not list "action" as a genre in its
> Moving Image Genre Guide; it labels "Speed"--which I would argue is an
> "action" film--a "thriller," probably because of the terrorism and
> "countdown" element.  I think the difference between a "thriller" and an
> "action" film is subtle but worthy of narrowing down.  I mean, if there's a
> "Fallen woman" genre--I probably would've lumped that one in with
> "(melo)drama" or "women's pictures"--why not a separate genre for the "Die
> Hard" plot?  When I tell an action fan that "Passenger 57" is "Die Hard on a
> Plane" and "Under Siege" is "Die Hard on a Boat," they know what to expect.
>
> At 06:43 PM 6/9/98 -0400, you wrote:
> >> Date:    Fri, 5 Jun 1998 18:18:49 +0100
> >> From:    Ingvald Bergsagel <[log in to unmask]>
> >> Subject: Action as genre
> >>
> >> Does anyone know of genre-studies done on action-films? I've found plenty
> >> on western, noir, gangster, sci-fi, adventure and other related genres, in
> >> addition to (naturaly) writings on screen-violence mentioning classic
> >> action-flicks, but nobody seems to have analysed action as a genre.
> >
> >I think the reason is, as I suggest in my book on the historical adventure
> >genre, because "action" itself is not a genre.  The types you've mentioned
> >above are genres, whereas action is a style uniting them.  The word action
> >itself does not imply a specific type of story or formula, but rather a
> >way of treating a story and an emphasis on certain types of elements.
> >Action is a male-oriented approach dependent on physical movement,
> >violence, and suspense, with often perfunctory motivation and romance.
> >Action tends to shift sentiment, character, dialogue, and family to the
> >background.  In action films a hero succeeds by facing death, courageously
> >overcoming dangers and adversaries.  Sherlock Holmes, James Bond, Shane,
> >the Thief of Bagdad, Luke Skywalker, and Robin Hood are, I would argue,
> >all action heroes--but each belongs to a separate genre (mystery,
> >espionage, western, fantasy, science fiction, historical adventure,
> >respectively).
> >
> >
> >Brian Taves
> >Motion Picture/Broadcasting/Recorded Sound Division
> >Library of Congress
> >101 Independence Avenue, S.E.    Washington, D.C.  20540-4692
> >Telephone:  202-707-9930; 202-707-2371 (fax)
> >Email:  [log in to unmask]
> >
> >
> >Disclaimer--All opinions expressed are my own.
> >
> >----
> >Online resources for film/TV studies may be found at ScreenSite
> >http://www.tcf.ua.edu/screensite
> >
> >
> Patricia Scheiern Lewis
> Dept. of English
> University of Chicago
> [log in to unmask]
> http://student-www.uchicago.edu/users/pslewis/
>
> Diplomacy is the art of saying "nice doggie" until you can find a rock.
>
> ----
> Online resources for film/TV studies may be found at ScreenSite
> http://www.tcf.ua.edu/screensite
>
 
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