Cinema Journal, 23, 3, Spring, 1984

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Front Matter
Editor's Introduction, 2-3
Virginia Wright Wexman
Report from the President, 4-5
Bill Nichols
A Semantic/Syntactic Approach to Film Genre, 6-18
Rick Altman
Abstract: In an attempt to reconcile conflicting views regarding the determination of a film genre's corpus, opposed strategies characteristic of genre history and genre theory, and the different claims of ritual and ideological genre critics, this article proposes a new understanding of generic concerns based on a structured combination of semantic and syntactic approaches.
Time and Desire in the Woman's Film, 19-30
Tania Modleski
Abstract: This article reviews the scholarship on melodrama, which has been linked to "muteness" and to "conversion hysteria," and, using "Letter from an Unknown Woman" as its chief example, speculates on the reasons for the genre's special appeal to women.
Political Allegory and "Engaged Cinema": Sembene's "Xala", 31-46
Marcia Landy, Sembene
Abstract: Sembene's films are an attempt to create "engaged cinema" as an alternative discourse to dominant cinematic practices. His texts interrogate the relationship between film and politics and specifically the nature of what he terms "cultural imperialism." This essay explores Sembene's uses of allegory, satire, and montage as major strategies for creating interactions between text and audience.
Professional Notes, 47-52
E. Ann Kaplan, Thomas E. Erffmeyer
Erratum, 52
Back Matter

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