Road Movie. A road journey genre is pretty simplistic, the plot follows the journey of the protagonist. It shows them progress through the stages of equilibrium. Every genre has “stereotypical” elements to it, a road movie genre usually has that kind of protagonist that starts off very shy, unconfident, unstable and unsure but as the plot develops the protagonist begins to find themselves, become more sure of the person they are, they become confident, brave and independent. The protagonists tend to be men or boys who leave their families on a “journey of self discovery”. The plot tends to be based around leaving home to learn new things, break free from the constraints of society and tradition, embracing change, escapism and that key element of finding freedom. Usually there’s an involvement of a physical journey rather than just a mental one, so more characters are introduced, the best friend that’s scared of everything, the know-it-all, the dumb blonde, the daredevil etc. There’s always some kind of inclusion coming from a desert, the car is usually a red convertible that breaks down in the middle of said desert or wasteland. They eventually hitchhike with some guy in a van that is conveniently passing by and going to the city they want to go to. The music used is mainly non-diegetic feel good pop music that represents the youthful age of those embarking on this journey. The movie follows an episodic structure, with a challenge to be met and overcome in each episode, whether that be the car breaking down, running out of money or a friend going missing. In most of these episodes, not only is there a difficulty but there is also the gain of new knowledge, allies are gained. It reveals more of the plot for the audience to think upon. Although this is not always the case, films such as “Heart of Darkness” include this episodic feature where every episode endures a loss or difficulty of some sort eventually leading to an end that would be positive regardless of the previous events. Road movies tend to have different endings according to other genre elements included, naturally if a road movie is combined with a horror movie the protagonist(s) realise that there is no chance of them returning home and fight for their lives, ultimately dying and leaving the main protagonist alone, much like the events that happen in the 2005 horror “The Descent”. If partnered with a romance genre, likely ending is a very happy one, the protagonist(s) fall in love and return home to live happily ever after. There are a world of possible endings that can be equipped with a road movie genre. The editing pace would usually follow the events in the plot, to begin with the editing naturally would be levelled, it’s just a balanced show of the start of the journey, as the structure reaches an episode with a challenge or problem the editing pace follow suit, speeding up and slowing down according to the tension, events, situation presented.
Film Noir Film Noir is a genre that represents the stylish Hollywood crime dramas. Usually filmed in black and white, including many iconic imagery. Most Film Noir (meaning black film in French) tend to have a bleak conclusion, but there are also those who end positively (The Big Sheep and Stranger on the Third Floor) Film Noir is composed of a lot of elements, some perceive the genre as a much more visual piece, whilst others focus more on the character styles and their development across the film. The visual pieces mainly seem to focus under low-key lighting, including many shadows and light/dark contrasts. The continuous use of the shadow from the blinds and banister rods cast upon the actors on screen, a wall or the entire set are a widely recognized convention of Film Noir films becoming known as a very cliché element of the genre. Characters faces are also consumed in darkness, this mainly falling over the antagonist, contorting their faces with the use of lighting to represent their character roles. The Film Noir genre is very keen on recreating distorted imagery, the cinematography tends to consist of low angled and high angled shots, wide shots and skewed shots. Key features in the cinematography includes having characters reflected in a large number of mirrors, being shot through frosted glass and shots of a bizarre nature. Location shooting in the Film Noir genre became crucial. The combined visual effects work well for the messages conveyed in the films, critics have often outlined the effects used in “Kiss Me Deadly”, one scene being often outlined as an iconic Film Noir genre scene where characters are shot through angular shapes, therefore representing them as being stuck in a tangible vortex or enclosed trap. The lighting used on characters include lighting from beneath a character, representing them in a unusual, yet ominous manor. Film Noir genre films tend to have uneven narrative structures, usually interrupted by flashbacks and other editing techniques that obscure the structure. Framing the entire narrative as a flashback is very common within the genre alongside first person voiceover narration usually coming from the main protagonist, but occasionally simple third person, ominous narration is used. The Film Noir genre has previously been identified as one of the most creative and inventive of the genres, previous films have used various techniques to create the films more involving and gripping for an audience. Lady in the Lake for example, is shot entirely from the protagonist’s view, the only time the audience ever actually see the face of the protagonist is when he appears in a mirror or various reflective surfaces. Film Noir has also taken the idea of having a dead man retell his story from his point of view, obscuring the film in as many ways as possible. Film Noir continues it’s experimental ways in popular cinema, it’s conventions being transformed into various films such as Pulp Fiction and Fight Club. The plot elements are usually based around crime, narrowed down mainly to a murder that needs investigating including the ever so present and predictable greed and jealousy. Usually an amateur private or police detective takes the protagonist role mainly acting alone. Other popular narratives include the protagonist being involved in murders, robbery’s and the likes of such crimes. False suspicions, accusations of crime, betrayals and double-crosses are also very popular within the genre. Such films usually take part in urban areas, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York and San Francisco being the most popular cities within which characters are always seen smoking, the central focus of the events being in bars, clubs and casinos. The final sequence in which the criminals are brought to justice usually involves a fight in some kind of industrial setting such as factories, power plants etc. A use of pathetic fallacy is involved where in nearly almost every classic Film Noir plot, the final fight takes place at night and it always rains.
Coming-Of-Age A Coming-of-Age film focuses on he progression of the protagonist from youth to adulthood. Personal growth and change are key features of the genre, which tends to rely mainly on dialogue and emotional responses than action. The character is mainly always a young mid-teens male, in the form of a flashback. The most touched upon topic tends to lie in the protagonist finding out about sexual identity, personal philosophy and occasionally political issues.
Psychological Thriller This genre is a combination and convergence of two genres. Psychological Thriller is classed as one of the most thrilling genres as it represents the unwinding and unhinging of the mind which can happen to anyone making the connection with the audience stronger and triggers that emotional response. Characters aren’t dependent on physical attributes to fuel the narrative. It is usually a fight between the goings on of the protagonist’s mind. Another key element that is included in this genre is that there is usually two characters involved fighting between their own mind. If those characters are different or the same it’s usually not revealed until the end of the film. Many themes of the drama have developed over the course of the genre, including, “Reality- characters often try and determine between what is reality and what isn’t.”, “Perception- Characters often wrongly perceive the word around them, they are altered by the outside factors within the narrative”, “Mind- The human consciousness. The mind is often the main setting for the narrative so anything is possible, characters battle for a new level of understanding and perception.”, “Existence/Purpose- An aim or goal characters aim towards”, “Identity- the characters definition of themselves, characters are often confused about their identities” and “Death- characters are widely influenced by a fear or fascination with death”