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Intertextuality has pros and cons

Foster (1-3, 5) -- Jerz: EL150 (Intro to Literary Study)

"Thirty minutes into Clint Eastwood's Pale Rider (1985), for instance, I thought, Okay, this is Shane (1953), and from there I didn't watch another frame of the movie without seeing Alan Ladd's face."

This happens to me all the time when I watch movies, and it drives me insane. I like when there's intertextuality in movies, plays, and books when it enhances meaning; but I've seen an awful lot of movies that all have the same plot and character archetypes without being that meaningful. I haven't seen either Shane or Pale Rider, so it may not be the case with this situation. I think if you're going to write a story that is similar to another story, it should differ from the original story in some new thought-provoking way. Either that or create a story that is set in a wildly different time and place from the story that it emulates in order to form connections in the reader's mind that they've never thought about before. However, sheer by-the-numbers formula-following, which seems to occur in a lot of mainstream moviemaking, should just be abolished.

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