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  • Lars Henriks

The Deconstruction of Genre

We've just covered Béla Tarr's "The Man from London" on "Mysterium Pictorum". It's a fun episode, I think! Listen to it to learn about anus brushes and unrealistic non-existentialism!


While watching it, at some point, I caught myself thinking "Wouldn't a remake of this be interesting? By David Fincher, maybe? He makes decent airport novel films!"


I've had similar thoughts before, when watching Ingmar Bergman's "Hour of the Wolf", for example.

"Hour of the Wolf" is a perfect movie, but I can't help thinking "Just imagine the creature designs Tim Burton or Guillermo del Toro would bring to this material!".


Bergman's "Passion of Anna" could also maybe become a nice, dark Scandinavian chiller, instead of the seemingly jumbled mess of notes, that it is now.


Then, I thought about how ignorant I am.


"Passion of Anna" would not be so ingrained in my head, had it satisfied my wish for certain narrative conventions. I wouldn't have thought about it half as much as I have - constantly remaking it in my head to make it fit better.


"Hour of the Wolf" is psychological and symbolic and would probably just become more shallow and childish by adding intricate creature designs.


"The Man from London" is clearly making its point precisely by not offering any crime story necessities like character motivations or consequences to actions.


Since I am, involuntarily, so very bothered (and thus, deeply effected), by this technique, that I'd call "deconstruction of genre" (rather than bending or defying genre conventions, which is a different thing to me) - I'd like to see more examples of this.


So, I'm looking for probably mostly arthouse films that almost shape up to be genre pictures, if their defining and most prominent feature wasn't the complete absence of what that genre (or narrative convention in general) would require them to have.


Crime stories without motivations, suspense or consequences to anything. Horror films that are weirdly internal, to a point where the horror narrative basically collapses and it feels more like we're watching some type of Freudian character assessment. Thrillers that hint at secrets that never seem to amount to anything, stirring up suspicions that neither get addressed, nor make conclusive sense on their own. And whatever else might be possible!


Is this even or thing or am I imagining it? If you've perceived stuff like this going on in films yourself - Does it bother you, too? Does it effect you at all?


I hope, I explained that okay. I'd love to get some suggestions and hear opinions on this!

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