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The Gothic Genre

Gothic elements in Buffy and The X-Files

Vanesa Dimarco

on 14 October 2012

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Transcript of The Gothic Genre

by Vanesa De Marco & Erica Martinez Gothic genre Post-Colonial Gothic Queer Gothic Urban Gothic Gothic Science Fiction Female-Gothic New Sub-genres Post-modern Gothic Modern Gothic Victorian Gothic The 18th C. Gothic Cultural-Historical
Period The Gothic: Categories Gothic texts explore: * Mysterious supernatural energies * Immense natural forces * Deep dark human fears and desires * Prohibition and taboos Cultural significance Expression of class violence and anxiety Female oppresion and rage Sexual repression and freedom Sexuality and identity Self-representation of the modern world we inhabit Gothic Fiction
(Horror & Romance) * 1764: Horace Walpole´s THE CASTLE OF OTRANTO * 1818: Mary Shelley´s FRANKENSTEIN * 1819: Polidori´s THE VAMPYRE * 1897: Bran Stoker´s DRACULA * English and European heritage MASSACRE
HORROR THE UNNATURAL HORROR Gothic, Fred Botting (1996) THE UNNATURAL *Vampires, ghosts, demonology, witchcraft, body horror * Associated with post-nuclear mentalities * Mutilation, destruction or disintegration of the body PSYCHOLOGICAL HORROR MASSACRE MOVIES * Misogyny. Male dependence on the female. The woman holds the key to male identity * Fear of exposure Vampire film * Centered on the male * Highly stylized type of film * Distorted bodies, shapes, sets * Bizarre settings * Lighting produced contrast creating dramatic shadows * A projection of a character´s subjective, mad world Key Concepts In Cinema Studies, Susan Hayward Gothic elements in Buffy * American television series which aired from 1997 until 2003 * Writer-director Joss Whedon * Starring: Sarah Michelle Gellar, as Buffy Anne Summers, and David Boreanaz, as Angel The original idea came with the reversal of an image from traditional horror: a fragile-looking girl walks into a dark place, is attacked - and then turns and destroys her attacker. The series mission statement aims to challenge gender stereotyping and invert the audience’s expectations. * The most prominent genres present in Buffy are (Gothic) horror, comedy and high school/youth drama. There are rapid transitions between horror and comedy. * Fantasy is another genre which is prominent in Buffy. Fantasy involves magic and the supernatural. * Buffy uses many of the elements of Teen/youth/high school genre. The character-types are well represented, with the cheerleaders, geeks, nerds and jocks. Mise-en-scène
Opening scene of first episode: Welcome to the Hellmouth HOW FILM LANGUAGE IS USED TO CREATE ATMOSPHERE: * Mise-èn-scene: the dark building, the unsettling objects in the science room, the transformation of the girl into vampire; * Cinematography: the camera, constantly moving and eframing, going from long-shot to medium-shot to close-up * Editing: the series of dissolves, the long take followed by a sudden cut; and the sound, * Sound: both diegetic- the sound of breaking glass- and nondiegetic. The eerie music on the soundtrack with lots of shrieking string sounds and the general mood of uncertainty. * Light and darkness alternate. Night has connotations of darkness and evil, when the vampires and demons come out to play. Gothic elements in The X-files * American science fiction drama television series, created by Chris Carter. It aired from 1993 to 2002. * Starring: David Duchovny, as Fox Mulder, Gillian Anderson, as Dana Scully * The show has become a cultural phenomenon. * Slogans, such as "The Truth Is Out There", "Trust No One", and "I want to Believe" became popular culture. * The search for truth in contemporary, postmodern cultures, is what caught so many people´s interest. * The X-Files tapped into public mistrust of governments and large institutions, and embraced conspiracy theories and spirituality as it centrered on efforts to uncover the existence of extraterrestrial life Elements
Gothic + Detective fiction: * Science and truth, rational investigation and analysis. * "The truth is out there" suggests that the truth can be discovered, but it is not at hand. * The location is unknown, elsewhere, in a strange, alien and even extraterrestrial place. * The truth can no longer be located in the world of scientific evidence and observable facts, but only within a supernatural realm, where UFOs, alien abductions and paranormal phenomena have become the truth. * The "X" of the title suggests that the truth is outside rationality: - Religious revelations; - Dark, monstrous, demonic forces; - Alien presence among us. T THANK h e e n d . . . YOU ! * Influenced by German expressionism The Scream by Edward Munch (1893) Gender Roles: * Female Gothic * Buffy Not the typical fragile, weak victim Male role * X-Files Female investigator, not glamorized Typically male genre
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