For more than a century the cinematic Western has been Americas most familiar genre, always teetering on the verge of exhaustion and yet regularly revived in new forms. Why does this outmoded vehiclewith the most narrowly based historical setting of any popular genremaintain its appeal? In Late Westerns Lee Clark Mitchell takes a position against those critics looking to attach post to the all-too-familiar genre. For though the frontier disappeared long ago, though men on horseback have become commonplace, and though films of all sorts have always, necessarily, defied generic patterns, the Western continues to enthrall audiences. It does so by engaging narrative expectations stamped on our collective consciousness so firmly as to integrate materials that might not seem obviously Western at all.
Through plot cues, narrative reminders, and even cinematic frameworks, recent films shape interpretive understanding by triggering a long-standing familiarity audiences have with the genre. Mitchells critical analysis reveals how these films engage a thematic and cinematic border-crossing in which their formal innovations and odd plots succeed deconstructively, encouraging by allusion, implication, and citation the evocation of generic meaning from ingredients that otherwise might be interpreted quite differently. Applying genre theory with close cinematic readings, Mitchell posits that the Western has essentially been post all along.
- Editorial: University of Nebraska Press |
- Idioma: inglés |
- ISBN: 978-1-4962-0196-6 |