Daniel Bradley Introduction Whilst analysing films there are many different important aspects involved which all need to be put together to create the best quality film analysis. Film analysis is based mainly on being able to notice which genre the film is (whether it’s a comedy, horror film or sci-fi etc). The two maincontrasts in film analysis are genre analysis and auteur theory. Mainly you watch a film and withinthe first five minutes you can selectively place the film into a specific genre, it’s when the film iscreated by an auteur that the genre’s turn into a hybrid film.An auteur is basically the French word for ‘author’ and when used in film it is where the director,producer or studio is the main creator of the film and it is where that certain individual puts theirown ‘fingerprint’ on the film. Whether this means they mix several genres together to create theirown genre or if it’s creating a film which cannot fit a specific genre where they sway theconventions.Genre analysis is split into seven main sectors:Codes and conventionsThe codes and conventions of specific genres are normally the same throughout agenre, it’s when an auteur creates a film the codes and conventions change. Thegenerally codes and conventions are the certain things you can expect to see in afilm, these could be from a big knife in a horror film to a car chase scene in an actionfilm; you will normally see these in every film to the specific genre. You can normally tell what genre the film is within the first five minutes of the film because the codes and conventions of that genre will set the scene via the mise-en-scene and camera shots used. Examples of these are: ‘cowboys and aliens’ which is in fact a hybrid film between two genres but within the opening of the film there is an establishing shot of the main character in the desert with tumble weed etc, so you instantly know that it’s a western film. Also, the first props we see and characters are dressed in boots and on horses with guns in holsters and these are some of the main conventions of a western film. As the film is a hybrid film the genre it is mixed with is sci-fi and the conventions of a sci-fi film are space, spaceships and aliens. These conventions are made very clearly in ‘cowboys and aliens’ so we are aware of which genres are being used to create the hybrid.
SettingThe setting of a film is very important because that is how you can tell which genre the film is.Usually the setting of the film is made from the very first shot of the film, usually by using anestablishing shot as the opening shot so that you can clearly see where the film is set. The locationsof specific genres are normally all the same sort of places for example; the action film ‘quantum ofsolace (dir. Marc Forster 2008)’ the first shot shows the location which is a very busy town with lotsof traffic and pedestrians around as this hectic chase scene erupts through the traffic, also it is set inItaly and we know this because in action films they will normally say where it is set because thecharacters often travel all over the world.The settings of action films are normally set in exotic busy places to show that they are high up inthe world and not like low petty thieves. Another setting which is always used in the specific genre isthat western films are always set in the desert and the majority of times this is made clear by the useof an establishing shot of the desert or a panning shot to show the surroundings. This is used in thefilm ‘cowboys and aliens’ very efficiently as we instantly know that it is going to be a westernbecause of the establishing and panning shots of the desert, also this adds to show isolation in thecharacter.CharacterCharacters which are used in specific genres normally have similar characters they are just used indifferent ways; you can notice this in all sorts of genres. Horror films normally have the samecharacters, they have the killer whom will have a horrible past or will be evil etc, then there is thehandsome guy and girl who are maybe bullies to other characters and they will be probably havingsex at the time that they get killed and most times they will die first, there will be the geeky boy andgirl which are segregated from the group and they normally know about the killer or ghost butnobody believes them until the end when they turn out right (they normally survive), there is theperson whom the audience never know whether to trust or not but they usually end up helping thekiller and then there will be the innocent bystanders which we never really find anything out about
because there not really important in thefilm and they usually die around the middleof the massacre. The characters in actionmovies normally you would have thehandsome trained professional good guywhose fighting off the bad guys and themajority of times he is on his own, you havethe opposite to him the sort of bad guy bosswho they will end in an epic battle to thedeath, then there are the sexy women oneither side which are always there and are normally antagonists and are normally half naked, alsothere will be loads of innocent bystanders that we never find anything about because there notnecessary.ThemesThe themes which run through specific genres change drastically depending on the genre butsometimes they can be very similar. The main themes in a western film for example will be oftenracism (between cowboys and Indians), there will be often poverty in the towns and the fightingwhich occurs will often be over gold and money, also love runs throughout the genre because thereis always the dame whom the main characters loves or is loved by. All these themes run through the film ‘cowboys and aliens’ and they are extremely visible throughout the film by the use of story and camera shots. The themes which usually run through the genre teen comedy are often the problems which teenagers across the world face on an everyday basis such as; love or a crush, isolation in a new school. Francis Ford Coppola themes of anti-war in the film apocalypse now, although the film contains a lot of violence and scenes of war the theme of anti-war runs throughout. Francis Ford Coppola is an auteur in his own right as he creates films which are hybrid films or his own films, as you always know when it is a Francis Ford film due to the violence but the seriousness of the violence and the way it is portrayed in his films, for example The Godfather. As there is a great level of violence in the film but it is seen as horrific instead of humorous.
Quentin Tarantino in my opinion is the most prime example of an auteur as he really puts hisfingerprint on film by creating his own genres. The main genres for which he hits are crime, war andaction but the majority of his films hit almost all ofthese genres as they are all unique. Tarantino filmscreate personality to which you recognise everytime you see one of his films which makes him anauteur. His films usually consist of graphic violenceyet have a quirky twist to them as for one minuteyou are looking away from the raw violence andthen the next you are in tears from laughter. Aprime example of this is in ‘Reservoir Dogs’ whereMr Blonde chops off a policemen’s ear then dancesto Stealers Wheel! The majority of films which arecreated in the genres that Tarantino cover usually tone down the violence or they tone down thelevel of humour where as he used them all to create his films which makes him an auteur, also theway all of the films are shot are just not like anybody else.Another example of an ‘Auteur’ is Robert Rodriguez and his style of films is very authentic in theaction genre which usually involves a high level of unnecessary violence which is very entertaining towatch but can be quite nerving for some viewers to watch. The film ‘Machete’ shows how Robert Rodriguez is an auteur and backs up my theory because the level of violence and gore is ridiculous in this film and is to the next level from people diving out of windows using other people’s intestines to people getting blown up. This level of violence runs throughout the film and the way it is made is incredible, only Rodriguez could have made this film! His style differs from other directors because he shows the gore, blood and guts and in my opinion he does it to a degree which is like no other.