“There haven’t been any new genres since Fellini created the mockumentary”
This is a line in the film, and an interesting one as Adaptaion. is a movie about making movies very similar to Fellini’s own 8 1/2. Adaptation., while not the most faithful, is certainly the most inventive book-to-film adaptation made in the last 30 years, if not the history of cinema. It critiques its writer as much as it critiques the Hollywood industry of filmmaking, but how true is that line (and others in the film) that points out there really is nothing new as far as genre goes? Have there been no new genres since Fellini, and are we all just working within the realms of these genres set before us, blending them, separating them, molding and shaping them to our own interpretation? Is there any new ground for filmmakers to break, or bound forever to these rules and structures set before us? Can film evolve into new genres, or will it take a new medium before we as artists can explore them?
I see genre’s as more of a way of us trying to understand and label things that already exist, not necessarily everything coming into existence mandated by them (though certainly this happens very often).
As for if there is anything substantially original left to do in the medium of film that has actually never been done before… the answer to that is a resounding no and has been since the dawn of cinema ;)
but Fellini created his own genre?
Speaking for myself, when I write a story, it starts with an idea. Soon that idea grows and begins to attract and chain new ideas. At some point, the ideas and the characters start telling me what they want to do and how they want to behave. Pretty soon the whole thing starts snowballing and you have your story. (gross oversimplifications ect.)
An idea is like a child, you give birth to it you foster it, you help it grow… pretty soon it’s ready to stand on its own two feet, and before long you find yourself answering to it, not the other way around!
So, in that sense, things just want to be a certain way. And it’s up to me try and be in tune with that, and coax it out, bring it to life. After all, if a genre is like a “type of kid”, say an athlete or a sporty type… it’s not like a parent goes “Ok, I’m gonna make a kid and he’s going to be an athlete”. They might like it to be an athlete, but all they can do really is make that kid, and that kid is gonna be whatever it’s gonna be, regardless of what previous “agenda” the parent may have for it.
Filmmaking for me is like that. But, that’s just me, not saying at all that this is the optimal or only valid approach, I’m sure a lot of people operate differently.
Having said that, it would not surprise me if in fact, Fellini made 8 1/2…. then later is was dubbed a new “genre.” (as opposed to the reverse).