Considerations on conceptual frameworks for writing liminality into popular film

09 Jun 2017

This article addresses the widely accepted, yet fictive dichotomy between the categories of ?genre? and ?art? film. These paradigms are perpetuated throughout the global film-making system by Hollywood norms that encourage screenwriters for popular films to write for genre category, rather than to reflect complex human experience in stories of liminality and interstitiality. An alternative conceptual framework for filmic narrative architecture that addresses these concerns can be developed out of the epistemological paradigm of ?realism? put forward by Birger Langkjaer. This construct is both-and-neither ?genre? and ?art?, and enables a more grounded view of film narrative as composed of complex plots, characters and subject-matter/themes. However, in order to conceive of alternatives in ways that are pragmatically sound, account must be taken of how the profit-motives of Hollywood perpetuate dominant discourses. Such scholarship should also acknowledge the complexity of anthropological constructions of liminality, as well as the nature of film narrative as semiotic communication rendered to active (rather than passive) audiences. Taking account of these considerations, effective paradigmatic re-phrasing of film screenwriting can be engaged to encourage a philosophy of embodied experience in film practices, thereby reclaiming the power of subjectivity and voice in filmic narrative.