Kennedy McCann W4 Johnny G.

I found the Peterson and Robertson articles to be fascinating when compared to each other. For example, both author’s have different viewpoints on the conclusion of Johnny Guitar and the song. Peterson makes clear in the beginning of her analysis that there is something to be said about the line “My Johnny” in the film’s concluding song. She argues that the song’s female voice is a reassertion of Vienna’s presence over Johnny’s lacking presence, “as if the entire film has just been narrated by her,” (Peterson 16). This line, Peterson argues, is Vienna’s exercise of possession over Johnny, rather than the typical reverse situation. On the other hand, Robertson argues that the film’s closure with Johnny and Vienna’s embrace serenaded with the song is a reminder to the audience of the “true” star of the film (Robertson 41). Personally, I have not seen the film (yet), but my curiosity is evoked when I think of Robertson’s repetition of the word “containment”–in regards to the film’s containment of female excess–alongside the film’s final image of Johnny embracing Vienna (containing her, one could say). This becomes even more interesting when you include Robertson’s categorization of this film as “camp” according to Sontag’s terms, because she notes that in order to be “camp” the film takes itself seriously while simultaneously failing to achieve what it was intended to do by being over the top. I wonder, then, if the film ends with the hug and song, does the film itself know that it is trying to contain women? If so, if this was the intention, and the film knows it, how can it be seen as camp (since the essence of camp is that its realization can be only by those not included in creating the camp)?

 

Sontag also brings up in her essay that the film All About Eve is a wannabe camp film, but I do not quite understand this argument because she does not really elaborate… can we talk about it in class???

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