The industrial background that led to the creation of generic cycles in the Hollywood studio era is well known and extensively discussed in historical filmstudies. The social and economic factors of the 1990s, however, were equally significant in bringing about a cinematic boom worldwide, and creating a new wave of screen Shakespeares along the way. Yet what Part II of the book argued is that beside this shared industrial background, certain aesthetic features characterising post-1990s adaptations in the revived new genres allow us to see them as a coherent
and upholds generic concepts – did not result in a complete dismissal of genre study. 5 Even if partly out of habit, reference to genres is still commonplace practice in all three pillars of filmstudy (production, reception and criticism), and whether this means that genres have always been here, or that they are here to stay – or possibly neither – it makes them eminently useful in general descriptions and classifications of films.
At the same time, it is also important to acknowledge that twenty-first-century film and media theory has moved beyond traditional
creatures (zombies or vampires), also most appreciated by young audiences, irrespective of whether the films’ protagonists are teenagers or not; and finally, a seemingly very different, but no less significant group: biopics, that is, biographical films depicting some aspect or period of William Shakespeare’s life and work. This group is particularly interesting as it offers perfect examples of how recent filmmaking thrives on generic hybridity while maintaining well-known genre frameworks. It has, of course, long been a commonplace of filmstudies that the genre
character who dies is the one who was not even supposed to be there. This alteration in turn makes the mother figure a symbolic saviour of the traditions of the family, the whole of the diasporic community and even the cinematic conventions of the melodrama.
1 See F. Leibowitz, ‘Apt Feelings, or Why “Women’s Films” Aren’t Trivial’, in D. Bordwell and N. Carroll (eds), Post-Theory: Reconstructing FilmStudies (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1996), pp. 219–29 .
2 Stephen, ‘ Men Are Not Gods Review’, Letterboxd (8 October 2016), www
functions, and sometimes physical settings. 61 In the first twenty or so years,
film genres were only emerging under the influence of established
The title of an interesting contribution to filmstudies,
Vera Dika’s Recycled Culture in Contemporary Art and Film: The
Uses of Nostalgia , 62 encapsulates aspects of my argument:
Shakespeare is constantly present as ‘recycled culture’ in
See R. S. White, ‘The Rise and Fall of an
Elizabethan Fashion: Love Letters in Prose Romance and Romantic
Comedy’, Cahiers Elisabéthains , 30 (1986),
For some discussion of parodies, see Guneratne,
Shakespeare, FilmStudies , 158