Towards Genre Classification in Anglophone West Africa Video Films: The Case of Scorned as a Woman’s Film
Keywords:African film, Hollywood, scorned video film, woman’s film.
AbstractThis paper explores the woman’s film within the context of Africa and African cinematography by examining the Ghanaian video film Scorned (2008), written and directed by Shirley Frimpong-Manso. It examines the themes, narrative structure, and cinematic style employed in the Ghanaian video film Scorned (2008), comparing it to the key elements of the 1930s – 1950s woman’s film genre of Hollywood. We argue that Scorned follows the traditional genre of the woman’s Hollywood movie while simultaneously subverting some of the ingrained conventions and expectations of that genre. The film merges and renegotiates the generic elements of the woman’s film as represented in the Hollywood woman’s film genre and melodrama by focusing on the underpinning ideologies, plot, and aesthetics in making visible the Ghanaian woman’s experience and constructing a female consciousness. Such engagements can contribute to teasing out some of the generic elements, which could constitute the African woman’s film.
Altman, R. (1999). Film/Genre. London: British Film Institute.
Basinger, J. (1995). A woman’s view: how Hollywood spoke to women, 1930-1960. New York, NY: Wesleyan University Press.
Bisschoff, L. (2009). Women in African cinema: An aesthetics and thematic analysis of filmmaking by women in Francophone West Africa and Lusophone and Anglophone Southern Africa. PhD thesis, School of Languages, Cultures and Religions, University of Stirling, United Kingdom.
Bruzzi, S. (1997). Undressing cinema: Clothing and identity in the movies. London: Routledge.
Cawelti, J. G. (1991). The evolution of social melodrama. In M. Landy (Ed.), Imitations of Life: A Reader on Film & Television Melodrama (pp. 33-49). Detroit, MI: Wayne State University Press.
Cook, P. (1991). Melodrama and the women’s picture. In M. Landy (Ed.), Imitations of Life: A Reader on Film & Television Melodrama (pp. 248-262). Detroit, MI: Wayne State University Press.
Diawara, M. (1992). African cinema: Politics & culture. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.
Doane, M. A. (1987). The desire to desire: The woman’s film of the 1940s. Bloomington & Indianapolis, Indiana University Press.
Ferriss, S. & Young, M. (2008). Introduction: Chick flicks and chick culture. In S. Ferris & M. Young (Eds.), Chick Flicks: Contemporary women at the movies (pp. 1-25). New York, NY: Routledge.
Giannetti, L. (2011). Understanding movies (12th ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.
Gledhill, C. (1987). The melodramatic field: an investigation. In C. Gledhill (Ed.), Home is where the heart is (pp. 5-39). London: British Film Institute.
Geraghty, C. (1991). Women and soap opera: a study of prime time soaps. Cambridge: Polity Press.
Haskell, M. (1973). From reverence to rape: The treatment of women in the movies. New York, NY: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.
Haynes, J. (2010). What is to be done? Films studies and Nigerian and Ghanaian videos. In M. Şaul & R. A. Austen (Eds.), Viewing African cinema in the twenty-first century: Art films and the Nollywood video revolution (pp. 11-25). Athens, OH: Ohio University Press.
Hutchings, P. (1995). Genre theory and criticism. In J. Hollows & M. Jancovich (Eds.), Approaches to popular film (pp. 59-77). Manchester: Manchester University Press.
Johnston, C. (2004). Women’s cinema as counter-cinema. In P. Simpson, A. Utterson, & K. J. Shepherdson (Eds.), Film theory: Critical concepts in media and cultural studies (pp. 183-192). New York, NY: Routledge.
Klinger, B. (1994). Melodrama and meaning: history, culture, and the films of Douglas Sirk. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.
Laing, H. (2007). The gendered score: music in 1940s melodrama and the woman’s film. England: Ashgate Publishing Limited.
Langford, B. (2005). Film genre: Hollywood and beyond. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press Ltd.
Lyden, J. C. (2003). Film as religion: Myths, morals, and rituals. New York, NY: New York University Press.
Mercer, J. & Shingler, M (2004). Melodrama: Genre, style and sensibility. London: Wallflower Press.
Modleski, T. (1991). The search for tomorrow in today’s soap opera. In M. Landy (Ed.). Imitations of Life: a Reader on Film & Television Melodrama (pp. 446-465). Detroit, MI: Wayne State University Press.
Neale, S. (2000). Film genre and Hollywood. London: Routledge.
Sutherland-Addy, E. (2000). The Ghanaian feature video phenomenon: Thematic concerns and aesthetic resources. In K. Anyidoho & J. Gibbs (Eds.), Fontomtrom: contemporary Ghanaian literature, theatre and film (pp. 265-277). Amsterdam: Rodopi.
Ukadike, N. F. (2003). Video booms and the manifestations of ‘first’ cinema in Anglophone Africa’. In A. R. Guneratne & W. Dissanayake (Eds), Rethinking third cinema (pp. 127-143). New York, NY: Routledge.
Walsh, A. S. (1986). Women’s film and female experience: 1940-1950. New York, NY: Praeger Publishers.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).