The Adventure Fantasy Genre in Film: King Kong

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The adventure fantasy genre in film has its beginnings in the early 20th century, according to Tim Dirks, a writer for the filmsite.org web site

“Adventure films can live vicariously through the travels, conquests, and explorations, creation of empires, struggles and situations that confront the main characters, actual historical figures or protagonists.”

Therefore, the genre has many components, such as a science fiction adventure, a western adventure, a jungle, fantasy and even a romantic adventure. Nineteenth century ideologies were present in these films; patriarchy, heterosexual romance, colonialism, racism were common components in the story plots. Nevertheless, throughout the 20Th century, factors changed enormously, and the adventure fantasy genre mutated to fit the changing times. Although the genre kept some of the main characteristics, it differed from its beginning. These types of films were mostly opened information system, since they were based upon the mood and the frame of knowledge of that époque.

The film King Kong (1933) by Merian C Cooper & Ernest B Shoedsack illustrate how the different social, political, economical and regulatory factors had changed throughout the time and impacted the style and content of these adventure films.

In 1933 when the original King Kong was released, the world was in a period of change. Its creators were two well-known adventure and documentary film makers. In the story, “a film crew goes to a tropical island for an exotic location shoot and discovers a colossal giant gorilla who takes a shine to their female blonde star (IMDb.com).” The story line presents the successful filmmaker Carl Denham, played by Robert Armstrong, who puts an expedition togeth...

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