Film Parody is the first major book on one of the most prolific and profitable modes of contemporary film-making. It provides a lucid introduction to the films and a rigorous theoretical account of how parody operates on textual, pragmatic, and socio-cultural levels. Harries asserts that film parody is now so routinized by the major studios that it must be considered, in its own right, as a major mode of contemporary film-making.
Tracing a history of parodic cinema from early Laurel and Hardy spoofs to recent box-office hits such as Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, this book defines parody with respect to other related, though different modes of discourse such as irony and pastiche.
Academy Awards now go to film parodies, audiences make a star of the parodic actor Leslie Neilson, and even the "band" Spinal Tap does a live reunion tour. In other words, parody has been entirely co-opted by a culture, and a culture industry, steeped in irony. For these reasons and more, Harries concludes that film parody is one of the most vibrant modes of contemporary film-making.
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