Best in Show: Christopher Guest as a Mockumentary Auteur
In the final chapter of Part I, I argue that Christopher Guest’s position as a mockumentary auteur has had a significant impact on the aesthetic development of the mockumentary form and the way in which it is interpreted by audiences. A number of aspects of Guest’s work are addressed, including their tonal qualities and the question of intertextuality, and I suggest that one way of thinking about definitions of mockumentary texts is in relation to other mockumentaries, rather than simply as stand-alone texts. The key argument of the chapter is that Guest’s work embodies a stylistic transformation common to the wider mockumentary landscape away from a direct and detailed replication of documentary style towards a form of ambivalent hybridity that is recognisable in its own terms. This is articulated through a discussion of the popular television mockumentary sitcom Modern Family.
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