Altman and Recent Genre Theory;

Docudramatic Genres:  The Biopic, The War Film


Altman, “Generic Products and the Recycling Process”


1.  What is “genre” now in Altman’s view?

    How does this rework the traditional characteristics of film genre?


2.  How is genre different from/related to:


     --film cycles?


     --film style?


     --modes of film?



The Biopic


1.  what does the recent cycle look like?


2.  is there a logic (a “syntax”) that drives the cycle?


     --What recurring ideas and concerns suggest possible patterns?  Is there a logic to these? 


     **For the biopic:  what makes the exceptional life relatable?  What do these films tell us about who we are?


3.  How does Shine share the characteristics of the contemporary biopic?


The War Film


*How does the genre (war film) fit within the mode(s)?

*How does war film docudrama function as history?

*What is characteristic of the recent cycle of war film docudrama?


1. What are the characteristics of the war film as a genre?


2.  Why are war films inherently melodramatic?


3.  What are the central arguments the war film genre forwards?


4.  What are the arguments about history evident in recent war film docudramas?


     a)  How do these films contribute to what we called above the identity discourse taken up by docudrama? (what do these films tell us about who we are?)


     b)  How do these films fit into what historians have called “tactile” history?


5.  Uprising, Nuremberg, and Holocaust representation:  how/why do these works re-create responses to events as history?


6.  Recent feature film war docudrama:  rescue narratives in We Were Soldiers and Black Hawk Down:  how do the argument(s) here about rescue contribute to contemporary identity discourse?