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 > ---- Screen-L is sponsored by the Telecommunication & Film Dept., the University of Alabama.