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Old May 9 2012, 09:44 AM   #912
Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

^^ Yes, indeed. Very well said.

Christopher wrote: View Post
I already have, and so have others. You just need to try listening.
No, I think you need to re-read my posts more slowly and carefully.

And you really don't see how that contradicts the premise that genres can overlap, or that a single work can contain elements of multiple genres? No, ghosts per se are not science fiction, but something like space travel or colonizing other planets is science fiction. So if someone wrote a story about a spaceship travelling to another planet and finding ghosts there, it would contain elements of both science fiction and supernatural fantasy/horror.
Bloody Hell, man, this is what I've been telling you.

So the story as a whole could be characterized as science fiction even if aspects of it constituted fantasy or horror. There's a distinction between the parts and the whole that you're failing to consider. (And indeed, there have been classic works of genre fiction that have combined ghosts with space travel, such as some of Bradbury's Martian tales, or Richard Matheson's story "Death Ship" which became a Twilight Zone episode of the same name.)
And this is where you go wrong. Just because a story may be considered primarily one genre does not change the definition of the genre.

Which is a meaninglessly circular argument.
Or funny to someone with a sense of humor.

And neither is the fictional world in which the Western genre normally takes place. It pretends to be the historical American West, and its films are generally shot in the American West, but the actual history of the American West was extremely different (for instance, gun duels were actually quite rare; the typical Western town averaged under two homicides per year, and firearms of the time were so inaccurate that one-shot quick-draw showdowns were essentially impossible). So most "Westerns" take place in a world that's essentially as much a fantasy locale as Middle Earth.
This is nonsense. A Western can be as realistic or as fictionalized as the writer wants, as I've already explained.

And what makes you so much more qualified to judge what genre those works are than the people who actually made them? Who the hell are you to assume you know better than everyone else? If you disagree with someone, isn't there a chance that you're the one who's actually wrong? Or that it's ambiguous enough that maybe there is no simplistic right answer?
Or maybe I'll continue to give my opinion and back it up rather than relying on specious arguments from authority, no matter how huffy you get.

Harvey wrote: View Post
Who was talking about space opera? That's a subgenre of science fiction with its own peculiarities. For a film that combines the science fiction and Western genres, Cowboys & Aliens is an obvious but suitable example (although I haven't seen it).
Christopher said that a Space Opera that uses elements of a Western is a Western. I was pointing out that if that is so, then the reverse must be true, which is obvious nonsense.

Christopher already tackled your comment about ghosts. The only thing I can add is that Star Wars obviously qualifies as a science fiction film with ghosts.
Actually Space Opera with ghosts.

The Proposition (2005), which shouldn't be confused with the awful Sandra Bullock comedy, is a revisionist Western from Australia. It has a great cast, was well reviewed by most critics, and is (in my estimation) worth seeing. I haven't actually seen the other Australian example that I've been using, Quigley Down Under (1990), but it seemed perfectly suitable.
Well, if The Proposition is set in the American West and just made in Australia then it may be a Western; Quigley Down Under, judging by the title, is set in Australia and therefore not. As I said, the setting is intrinsic to the genre.

I wasn't arguing that Westerns must be restricted to the United States (that would make my argument that films set on Io and the Australian outback were also Westerns rather incoherent). You seemed to be suggesting that line of reasoning (which you've clarified into a slightly more inclusive, but still exclusionary definition of a genre that allows films set in North America to qualify, as long as they take place in your vague conception of the West).
There may be gray areas at the edges, but it's far from vague.

What would you call these films then?
No idea. The question is, would accurate labeling change their content at all?

If you're going to fall back on Wikipedia, then it should be noted that every film I've mentioned is described as a Western on the site.
Interesting. Then they're contradicting themselves. I'll have to take a look when I have a minute.
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