CAIRN-INT.INFO : International Edition

Silent films must speak to everyone, so they employ “clichés” and other “stereotypes” to enchant and delight their spectators. The advent of the “talkie” provoked a proliferation of cinematic “stereotypes,” which became less and less distinguishable from “archetypes” and served to define “genres” (film noir, the Western, the musical comedy). Then, as the themes presented in film became more diverse and cinema more globalized, stereotypes became more complex, sidestepping the caricature in which some, who sought to standardize the cinematic image, tried to imprison them. New “characters” began to command the screen: the youth, the homosexual, the North African, and so on. Others faded away: the roughneck, the femme fatale, the dirty cop, and so on. Some never knew stardom: the factory worker, the farmer, the unemployed. Cinema rarely addresses social concerns and prefers to present individual stories shaped by “types.”


  • cinema
  • language
  • mass communication
  • clichés
  • culture
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