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From “Discourses of Sobriety” to Deadpan Comedy: Christopher Guest’s Musical Trilogy

Abstract : Christopher Guest’s fake documentaries about music are marketed as entertainment but they also raise serious questions about music history and the problem of authenticity. Working as a collaborative writer, director and actor in This is Spinal Tap (1984), Waiting for Guffman (1996) and A Mighty Wind (2003), Guest has recast the “discourses of sobriety” as deadpan comedy. In the process, he challenges the traditional fact/fiction dichotomy and claims to authenticity. With attention to folk, rock and community theater genres, this article focuses on Guest’s treatment of received narratives about music-making that are preoccupied by a quest for origins and a sense of home. The reality of such narratives is depicted as compromised, while performance, sometimes animated by a camp sensibility, offers a way forward.
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Contributor : Charles Holdefer Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Thursday, March 26, 2020 - 11:35:14 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, November 3, 2021 - 5:55:40 AM

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Charles Holdefer. From “Discourses of Sobriety” to Deadpan Comedy: Christopher Guest’s Musical Trilogy. Angles: French Perspectives on the Anglophone World, SAES – Société des Anglicistes de l’Enseignement Supérieur, 2019, Reinventing the Sea, 9 (Varia), ⟨10.4000/angles.2216⟩. ⟨hal-02519730⟩



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