James Schamus’s "The Ice Storm" Essay

2218 words - 9 pages

Genre in film theory is bespoken from literary genre scrutiny as well as founded on a film’s organization and its sequential events. Similarly, films are more often than not categorized according to its mood that is an emotional tone, setting which is its locale, and theme topic that is the issues in the film. Likewise, all these fundamentals come into consideration for the appointment of the film to be properly categorized in a genre. The moment we look narrowly at a film genre, we typically ascertain intricacies that give an awareness of subtle shades of meaning or feeling, especially in artistic expression or performance. However, all along not losing sight of the fact that a genre convention, that is to say some type of common identity that reappears in the film that eventually contributes essentially. Conjunctionally these elements are influential to classify a film in a genre, which includes essentials such as iconography, plot, and thematic elements. An epitome of a genre drama is exemplified by the film, The Ice Storm (1997) and accordingly, with an analysis of its genre it demonstrates David Bordwell’s reflectionist approach that expounds on its social function, relatibility, during the time of its production.

The Ice Storm is classified as a drama genre in that it reflects an in-depth development of realistic characters dealing with poignant themes. The theme includes social class families with average incomes who find their lives out of control in consequence of their experimentation with alcohol, drugs, and casual sex. A drama genre is a broad category inasmuch as it is centered on characters that are in conflict at particular times in their lives. For instance, a character may undergo a personal conflict such as a divorce in the movie Kramer v. Kramer (1979). Therefore, at the time of its production in 1979 its social function mirrored the social order insofar as many individuals had experienced divorce. Pursuant to the Center for Disease Control it reveals that the divorce rate for 1979 had increased by 4.5% from the previous year, a national total of 1,181,000 (www.cdc.gov). These painstaking crucial moments of conflict usually involve circumstances that are relatable and make a poignant, dramatic impression to most people.

The Ice Storm is relatable attributed to its content involving imperfect human struggles, and may easily be described by one word, viewpoint. There are many viewpoints that stem from the characters throughout the film. The main characters are Benjamin Hood (drinks too much due to office conflicts), his wife, Elena Hood (control issues, tries to change herself as well as her husband (he lies)), their son, Paul Hood (typical young man who seeks the rich adoring girl while home for the holidays), and Wendy Hood (adventurous about sex, and experimental about alcohol). In the midst of viewpoints are the plot of the film and its setting of 1973 during the Thanksgiving weekend at New Canaan,...

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