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FILMS STUDIES - GENRE

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Introduction

Film Studies Coursework - Genre The film that I have chosen is "Blazing Saddles" directed by Mel Brooks, who is a director that is famous for making comedy films for example, The Producers. So from the outset we can expect this film to fit into his style. This film fits into the comedy/western genre. The film is a parody of the western movie and takes on many influences from famous westerns that can be seen throughout the movie. This film takes western genre norms and gives them a comic twist in order to create the comedy/ western theme. The comedy used is mostly slapstick and visual comedy. A brief synopsis of the run up to this scene would be typical of the comedy/western genre. There are a group of African Americans who are being made to work on putting a railroad through the town of Rock ridge. The problem with this is that the townsfolk will have to leave before the rail road can go through the town. The assistant to the governor appoints one of the slaves as sheriff of the town in a ploy to make the townsfolk so repulsed that they will leave the town, from here the scene commences The first shot we see is a long shot of the street in the middle of the town. ...read more.

Middle

As the scene moves onto the part where the "murderers and thieves" ride into town the music quickens and instruments change to violins which are often used in high action sequences. The editing becomes much faster which is expected in this scene as the action is now at its highpoint and the editing being much quicker is typical of a western style action sequence. The murderers and thieves who ride into town have a very striking appearance which is common in westerns. They are wearing the darker coloured black cowboy hats and are galloping in on horses. They all have whips and weapons of some sort which shows us that they are the villains in this scene, the fact that their weapons are whips and revolvers definitely gives the western feel to this part of the scene. A comical aspect which is added to this sequence in the scene is the part where one of the villains chases down a man who is on foot and the man jumps through a window to escape then jumps right back out the other one because he is being shot at from inside. This gives the action sequence a bit of a comical twist to it. ...read more.

Conclusion

The reverend asks the congregation to rise and starts by saying he "will read from the book of Matthew, Mark, Luke and duck!" at the point when he says duck, a bunch of dynamite sticks are thrown through the window. This is an instance of comic timing on the director part as we can clearly see how it fits with the dialogue in the scene at this point. The dynamite sticks themselves are also an indication of the western genre as these are iconic weapons used in a lot of westerns. Overall I think the scene works well. The camerawork and sound especially make the scene as effective as it is. The editing change in the middle of the scene makes the contrast between the harmony within the town and the action. This director's take on the comedy/western genre is typical to the director himself. The comedy used in this scene is mainly visual as well as some audible comedy that comes through in the song. The visual comedy is also typical to the director's style. I think overall the way the director has taken the western theme and made it comical is well done as we clearly see all the aspects of the western along with the comedy that comes through in the dialogue and visual interactions between characters. ...read more.

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