genre

Soderbergh's CONTAGION: a no-thrills thriller

Soderbergh's CONTAGION: a no-thrills thriller

I saw CONTAGION last weekend and by God it’s the first thriller I’ve ever seen where a lingering shot of a coffee cup (or martini glass, or door handle) recently fondled by the recently infected is one of the scariest shots. A coffee cup! And it actually is scary. The camera holds just long enough to make the object – and the unseen germs just deposited there – terrifying. I’m not talking about a gasp-out-loud- sort of terrifying, but a sick to the stomach, this-could-surely-happen-to-me sort of terrifying.

Friends on Facebook have cried “Blah!” as in, “It’s boring!” Well, maybe. Moments, I admit, feel slow. But isn’t that refreshing for a thriller? Nobody but Soderbergh could impose a new pace on a well-worn genre, and nobody could rally such high power stars to, one by one, froth at the mouth. They die so well.

Genre in general … on the web

Genre in general … on the web

Last week found me mired in dystopian cinema. One side effect, other than a few bad dreams, was simply more thought devoted to genre in general. It’s summer, when genre really rears its head! Romantic comedy becomes somehow even more romantic, horror feels … horrific, the science fiction film is as big and real as the block-busting multiplex screen it was born to illuminate.

But what about the small screen? How much, in other words, has film genre really permeated the web?

Clearly, we all know that a certain strand of comedy is alive and well on the internet. Think Will Ferrell and his toddler daughter Pearl, yukking it up a few years back on funnyordie.com.

The Landlord from Will Ferrell

Don’t get me wrong – this bit is still so hilarious that I laugh out loud. But just how far has comedy expanded on the web since then?