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The Cinema of Michael MannVice and Vindication$
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Jonathan Rayner

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780231167291

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231167291.001.0001

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Adventures in Genre

Adventures in Genre

The Keep, Ali, Public Enemies

Chapter:
(p.127) Chapter Four Adventures in Genre
Source:
The Cinema of Michael Mann
Author(s):

Jonathan Rayner

Publisher:
Columbia University Press
DOI:10.7312/columbia/9780231167291.003.0005

This chapter examines Michael Mann's genre of filmmaking and the “armature of genre”, and studies three of his films, namely, The Keep (1983), Ali (2001), and Public Enemies (2009). Genre frameworks are vital to Mann's filmic expression and critical reading of his work, as the articulation of his concerns depends upon movement from and through convention. The “armature of genre” provides the pivot point between fixed points of filmmaker and film history, and between directorial style and audience expectation, which facilitates the expansion of a generic canon and the enhancement of the filmmaker's expression. The Keep, which combines war and horror, not only unites atypical genre sources, but also merges Mann's contemporary visual style with the art direction, thematic concerns, and film historical readings of a national cinematic precedent. In the cases of both Ali and Public Enemies, their origins in muscular popular genres and the historical context of the biopic produce substantial variations.

Keywords:   genre filmmaking, armature of genre, The Keep, Ali, Public Enemies, genre frameworks, contemporary visual style, film history

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