Postmodernism, Indie Media, and Popular Culture: The Updated, Expanded Digital Edition

Chapter 8


Define Parody
Parody is a ridiculing imitation or opposition of media, for instance, text or film. The intention of parodies is to mock an original form (Salomon, 71). Parody is not always a mockery, but some theorist believes parody to be a binding solution to the past.  History is reestablished through parodies.  Dentith, a postmodernist claims that parody is “the mark of a gameful but productive relationship with the past” (Salomon, 73). Previous chapters defined pastiche as a combination of past styles.  A parody is created by pastiche and the chaotic and pluralistic aspects of postmodern society.  The main difference between the two postmodern terms is that parody is unavoidable and pastiche is simply a culmination of “things” (Mambrol, 2016). Pastiche remains neutral while parodies offer a form of commentary.
Genre Parody
Themes and ideas can be articulated as parodies, but genre parody is specific to the conventions of the film’s genre.  These postmodern films use codes to test the spectator’s suspension to the film.  Figure 1.1 is a quick video in which a speaker discusses the techniques filmmakers use in films, in this case, horror/slasher films.  The speaker describes what we perceive as codes and conventions to genres as filmmaker techniques. In order to evoke a feeling, an emotion, or any form of response from the viewers, it is vital that filmmakers are knowledgeable of the reference and cultural perceptions (Mambrol, 2016).  “Parody within the slasher genre used concepts already explored within another film in the genre” (Dover, 2016). Horror/slasher movies have gathered data of people’s reaction and the tactics used in films to elicit those reactions.  Tactics such as an indicative sound to anticipate what will happen.  In a horror movie, when the power goes out and it becomes dark, the audience anticipated there to be a dramatic change or a suspenseful scene when the lights come on (Sturken & Cartwright, 329-330).   This approach to filmmaking is demonstrated in the 1996 film, Scream (Fig. 1.2& Fig. 1.3) .
Political Parody
Saturday Night Live (SNL) create parodies on today’s most popular political and socio-cultural topics.  Postmodern parodies took historic and past stories, art, and literature and used their conventions to create commentary.  Whereas, SNL uses current events to create parodies and elicit humor.  This commentary mentioned from the parodies, in the case of SNL’s political parodies are insight, observations, and knowledge of a particular political figure.  The text called SNL political parody skits as “legitimate rhetorical instrument in the political arena” (Peifer, 156-158).  SNL creates their parodies through impersonations and skits.   Further approaches to creating these parodies include the interplay of visual and auditory components.  The parodies are produced by an array of actors that offer the voice of the parodies.  Mentioned in the text, the voice whom deliver the parody can be the aid in gauging the humor level and the spectator’s reception (Fig. 1.4) (Peifer, 157).

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