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Final draft - Asuri Divya Asuri Professor Drew Casper...

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Asuri Divya Asuri Professor Drew Casper CTCS-190 21 November 2011 The Ideas of Modernism and Post-Modernism in Film Genre Defining genres that deviate from the conventional Classical or Experimental genre can be challenging. Though it is definitely possible to differentiate certain genres from others, it is evident that each genre still carries certain characteristics of previous genres. For example, the Post-Modernist period still borrows some of the conventional ideas of the Modern period, yet still brings in novel ideas, making it a distinct genre. So what then, defines the Modern genre? For the most part, Modernist films tend to reflect the events and happenings of the culture and society of that time period. Though it still carries some characteristics of the Classical period, the Modern genre tends to be more complicated, especially regarding its characters and plot. Jack Hill’s 1975 movie, Switchblade Sisters , pushes boundaries by portraying the dominance of women over men and the power and independence that woman hold. In the film, Maggie, the main character joins a local gang and eventually, through various struggles makes her way to the top, becoming the leader. Throughout the movie, she advocates independence from men and asserts her superiority over men. This Modernist genre film reflects its time period in that it questions various ‘hot-topic’ issues such as gender and racial equality. The Post-Modernist genre however can be defined a little differently. Post-Modernist films are more than often nostalgic about the past and lack the same structure and predictability that previous genres would have. Similar to Switchblade Sisters, Mark Waters’ 2004 movie, Mean Girls , also portrays a setting where women reign supreme over men. The film follows the character Cady Heron, a previously home-schooled, exchange student and her desire to prove herself to the top clique of her high school. This movie also pushes boundaries by highlighting ideas of the status quo and popularity.
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Asuri This film actually references ideas of the past regarding social status and satirizes the stereotypical notions of cliques within high school. While it can be proven that both films share numerous similarities regarding their themes and overall myths, the fact that each film is a reflection of its respective time periods actually separates the films into two distinct genres: Modernist and Post-Modernist. This reflection of society in turn conveys the separate meanings that each genre embodies. In order to successfully compare both these films, it is important to define both Modernism and Post-Modernism. Modern genre films tend to be “self-reflexive” or “self- consciously question morals and values” (Casper). The questioning of values and morals is extremeley apparent in Switchblade Sisters, in that the movie itself brings up numerous social issues. Many of the most prominent issues include: the superiority of men over women, the idea
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