Thursday, 18 June 2009

Genre as a critical framework to question and assess film - "Stagecoach" from 1939

If you prefer assessing John Ford's "Stagecoach" using a genre approach you could focus on some of these points and view several scenes to decide whether Ford consciously focuses on, say, various forms of social prejudice, or whether these issues simply emerge out of the time in which the film was made. Perhaps there is something to be said for each approach. Clint Eastwood said that in "Josey Wales" (1975-6)he was not particularly conscious of his theme of social unity which could be seen as the need for Americans to unite after the Vietnam War. (See earlier posts). Yet in retrospect that is what he seems to have reflected in his film - Josey Wales is supported by the different types who, through his help, have banded together into a social group, suggesting that there is strength through social unity. Ford's film also mirrors an American society that was divided by the Depression and, perhaps, still feeling the after-effects of the Civil War from 65 years earlier.

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