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The Off-ScreenAn Investigation of the Cinematic Frame$
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Eyal Peretz

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781503600720

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9781503600720.001.0001

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Howard Hawks’s Idea of Genre

Howard Hawks’s Idea of Genre

(p.173) 3 Howard Hawks’s Idea of Genre
The Off-Screen

Eyal Peretz

Stanford University Press

In this chapter the book extends its demonstration that the dimension of the off-screen is the very heart of the medium of film by showing how it can become the lens through which to examine another fundamental cinematic question, that of film genre. The chapter is dedicated to a reading of a single film of Howard Hawks, the relatively late work Monkey Business, through which it also opens up the general Hawksian poetics. The chapter demonstrates that Hawks’ brilliance consists in having understood genres to be differing modalities of inscription of the dimension of the “off”. Monkey Business transitions between dozens of genres displaying the main Hawksian principle of genre: there is no sense of speaking, as in the classical theory of genres, about a hierarchy of genres (tragedy is high, comedy is low, farce even lower, etc.), nor about a limitation of their number.

Keywords:   genre, the sacred, the secret, time, age, play, Hawks, Cary Grant

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