Genre and Fantasy: Melodrama, Horror, And the Gothic in Martin Scorsese's Cape Fear (1991) (Motion Picture) - revista de la Asociacion Espanola de Estudios Anglo-Norteamericanos Atlantis

Genre and Fantasy: Melodrama, Horror, And the Gothic in Martin Scorsese's Cape Fear (1991) (Motion Picture)

By revista de la Asociacion Espanola de Estudios Anglo-Norteamericanos Atlantis

  • Release Date: 2004-06-01
  • Genre: Language Arts & Disciplines
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Genre and Fantasy: Melodrama, Horror, And the Gothic in Martin Scorsese's Cape Fear (1991) (Motion Picture) revista de la Asociacion Espanola de Estudios Anglo-Norteamericanos Atlantis ebook - epub

Postmodern approaches to genre have, in the last two decades, deeply changed our way of conceptualising film genre. Earlier intrinsic perspectives, such as structuralist and psychoanalytic ones, have been replaced by historicist studies mainly focusing on the role of institutions--the industry and the critical establishment--and audiences. My intention in this paper is to retrieve the psychoanalytic concept of "fantasy" as a valid one to define different genres and also to differentiate among films that apparently belong to the same genre. For that purpose, I will take Scorsese's film Cape Fear as a test case and will try to broach Cape Fear's articulation of fantasy scenarios along generic lines. The paper will centre on melodramatic and paranoid horror fantasies, which Cape Fear shares with other psychothrillers, to finally dwell on a particular gothic fantasy of cultural regression that sets this film apart from other instances of the genre of the psycho-thriller. Key words: film studies, genre theory, psychoanalytic fantasy, melodrama, psycho-thriller, gothic.

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