Refiguring Melodrama in Film and Television by Agustín Zarzosa

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews


The notion of mode is critical in the reevaluation of melodrama. As a mode, melodrama appears not only as a dramatic genre pervaded by sensationalism, exaggerations, and moral polarities, but also as a cultural imaginary that shapes the emotional experience of modernity, characterized by anxiety, moral confusion, and the dissolution of hierarchy. Despite its usefulness, the notion of mode remains mystifying: What exactly are modes and how do they differ from genres? Refiguring Melodrama in Film and Television: Captive Affects, Elastic Sufferings, Vicarious Objects argues that, whereas genres divide a universe in terms of similarities and differences, modes express or modify an indivisible whole. This study contends that the melodramatic mode is concerned with the expression of the social whole in terms of suffering. Zarzosa explains how melodrama is not a cultural imaginary that proclaims the existence of a defunct moral order in a post-sacred world, but an apparatus that shapes suffering and redistributes its visibility. The moral ideas we associate with melodrama are only a means to achieve this end.

About Agustín Zarzosa

See more books from this Author
Agustíin Zarzosa is assistant professor of cinema studies at Purchase College.
Published November 16, 2012 by Lexington Books. 184 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Education & Reference, Humor & Entertainment, Arts & Photography. Non-fiction

Rate this book!

Add Review