Check out Tom Sutpen's Illusion Travels By Streetcar for a brilliant, though ultimately depressing, parody of academic film writing. Sutpen channels the voice of Prof. Thomas Marlowe, “chair of Film and Media Studies at Tait College
in Culver City, CA, and author of the groundbreaking 2003 study If I
Were King: Identity Politics, American Cinema and the Emerging
Framework of Global Patriarchy, Ur-Fascism and the Foundations of
Radical Monetarism and Ideological Order in the Era of the Hollywood
Studio System: 1935-1937 (published by Produit d'appel Press).”
The professor offers some comments on Howard Hawks's Ceiling Zero.
Sutpen's parody is depressing because it's harrowingly close to actual academic film writing. Prof. Marlowe's work could get published by any number of academic presses today, who would not read it, of course, because like much academic prose it is unreadable — some editor would simply note the phrase “Global Patriarchy” and think, “This Prof. Marlowe is one of us”.
The blogosphere is creating its own style of bloviation about film — a combination of Augustine's Confessions and the Cahiers du Cinéma style at its most antic — but one can still detect a human presence behind most of it. The academic style could be created with a not-very-sophisticated computer program, one that generated ideological catchphrases and embedded them in barely grammatical English sentences unconnected to each other by either logic or common sense. Prof. Marlowe has got the method down pat:
For any transformative reading of Hawks that is sufficiently
diversified in application to be of critical interest in the context of
Ceiling Zero, his systemic use of patriarchal symbology can be defined
by film theorists in such a way as to oppose the capacity of any
underlying conclusion. I suggested in my book that these results would
naturally follow from an assumption that the descriptive power of
images is, apparently, determined by a system of neural sensation
exclusive to genres. One consequence of this approach, which I
outlined, is that a critical intuition is necessary to impose an
interpretation on seemingly irrelevant contexts. Comparing the
theoretical usefulness of Ceiling Zero in comparison to Red Line 7000
and The Crowd Roars, we see that the critical foundations developed
earlier suffice to account for that conclusion as it applies to any
rational understanding of cinema.