Fantasy FilmsFilms from the fantasy genre are films that feature things such as magic, makebelieve creatures and supernatural events. They have an element ofmyth, mystery, wonder and escapism.I think fantasy is one of my favourite genres because of how you have to be able touse your imagination to actually enjoy the films and get involved in them and theycan be in any type of place, from real places that exist to make believe worlds. I alsolike how different the characters can be in fantasy films, you can have humansmixing with aliens, or other supernatural beings or you could have completely madeup creatures as the main character.There are many types of fantasy films, some that are aimed at children and featurethings such as fairies and have a basic good verses evil storyline and others that areaimed towards a more mature audience that feature more scary or complexcreatures, events and storylines. However with some films the fantasy genre tends tooverlap with other genres, such as science fiction, when this is done the films featurenew technologies from different worlds or the genre can overlap with horror and asupernatural feature can be used to frighten the audience.
Pans LabyrinthDirector: Guillermo del ToroYear of Production: 2006Pan’s Labyrinth is set in Spain, 1944, five yearsafter the Spanish civil war. The film is narratedby an unseen person and tells both the story ofa the real world and a fantasy world that iscentred around a abandoned overgrownlabyrinth and a faun that the maincharacter, Ofelia, talks to. The main characterlives with her pregnant and ill mother and herstepfather who is a Falangist Captain searchingfor remaining Spanish Maquis.Ofelia comes into contact with many mysticalcreatures while trying to help her pregnantmother get better, they lead her through thetrials and tasks of the labyrinth.
Special EffectsPan’s labyrinth uses a lot of special effects, such asanimatronics and CGI, to bring the creatures andscenery alive in the film.Special effects are a great way of making your filmmore effective and memorable, as when peoplewatch them they will remember certain bits becauseof the way special effects have be used.An example of this is a scene in Pan’s labyrinthwhere Ofelia, the main character, is told to go througha door where a creature who is said to eat smallchildren if she eats any of the food on the table. Thecreature she discovers there a tall, saggy skinnedman(?) with no eyes on his face, instead they are onhis hands which he holds up to where his eyesshould be, in this scene Ofelia is chased by thecreature and gets out the room in just the nick oftime, this scene is quite scary to watch and is ascene that I and other people remember from the filmbecause of how the creature looked, this wasachieved by special effects.
Spirited AwayDirector: Hayao MiyazakiYear of Production: 2001Spirited away is a fantasy animation set injapan, the main character, a young girl calledChihiro Ogino is moving house with her parentswhen they come across an abandoned town, inwhich they find plates and plates of foods whichher parents begin to eat. Chihiro goes exploringand when she finds her parents she discoveredthey have turned into pigs. The town that theyhave come across is in fact an alternate realitythat is ruled over by a bathhouse owned by thewitch Yubaba, who is the one who transformedChihiros parents to pigs. To set herself and herparents free, Chihiro takes a job at thebathhouse where she meets Haku and youngboy who helps her on her mission to escapeback to the human world.
Story LineThe storyline of Spirited Away is about a young girl who has to find her way outof an alternate reality with the help of a young boy and other mystical beingsshe meets a long the way. I liked the storyline of this film because at first it waseasy to follow but as it developed I found it to be really interesting.Having an easy story to follow is a good way of getting people to watch a filmbecause it enables people to tell other about the film without giving too muchaway, this way a film will get more popular by word of mouth.Although I do prefer films with more complex storyline because it gives yousomething to think about during the film and also after, I think a film is morememorable when you have to think about what happened afterwards to try andmake sense of what was happening and putting all the bits together.Sucker punch would be an example of a film with quite a complex storyline.
Sucker PunchDirector: Zack SnyderYear of Production: 2011Sucker punch is a film set in a mentalinstitute, the main character is BabyDoll, who is forced into going there by herstep father after the sudden death of hermother. The film centres around Baby dollas she tries to escape the institute beforethe date of her lobotomy, in five days. Sheswitches from real life to fantasy, as sheand fellow female inmates plot to escapethe institute together. Along with amystical guide, they fight to find the itemsthat will help them escape and defeatfantastical and real foes.
Star TheoryOne of the main reasons I watched Sucker Punch was because of the peoplethat starred in it, the main character is played by Emily Browning, one of myfavourite actresses. Also two other actresses who were in the film are JenaMalone and Vanessa Hudgens, actresses whose films I have enjoyed.I think that Start Theory is a big factor in why a lot of people go and see otherfilms, or buy them to view at home. If a well known actor or actress is in afilm, more people are likely to go and see it, because they see them inmagazines, on tv, on radio and on the internet so much they develop aninterest in them and become more interested in wanting to see films that theystar in.I also think that star theory is a very clever way of broadening the audience of anew film, because if you have star from a different genre of films from what theyusually star in then their fans will watch their new film to see their favouriteactor/actress, this way your film will make more money from their fans as wellas fans of the genre of the film. For example the films that Vanessa Hudgenshas stared in are usually romance or comedies, so her fans will be used to thistype of film with her in but they might want to see Sucker Punch as she is init, despite it being different from their choice of film.
Frame Work of Interpretation: Alice inWonderland
Media LiteracyMedia literacy is a repertoire of competences that enable people toanalyse, evaluate, and create messages in a wide variety of mediamodes, genres, and forms. This is a key way of getting films recognised.The main way that I find out about new films are trailers on the TV andon different websites on the internet, I think that trailers on TV are abetter way of advertising films because there is a huge number of peoplethat watch TV and if a trailer is played a lot they will become more andmore interested in going to see a film. I also think that the internet is agood way of advertising films because you can add more informationabut the film then, and people can find out more things about the film.Other ways of advertising films are billboards, blogs, word of mouth andsocial networking sites.
Reception Theory (Hall)Reception Theory supports the idea that the meaning of a film is created when a viewerwatches and processes the film. Reception theory can be linked to Star theory because itargues that a person is more likely to see a film if a star who they like and has been in otherfilms that they enjoy are in a new film. This is why many directors choose to have well knownactresses/actors in there films as they bring in a bigger audience and their films make moremoney. According to reception theory a person will only see a film because of there personalperception of a film. If a viewer can relate to the storyline and characters of a film, they aremore likely to see and enjoy a film. Your age, place of upbringing and how you were broughtup also influence what films you see.One of my favourite films is Girl, Interrupted, I originally watched the film because I hadpreviously read the book and the storyline was about something I find interesting to watch/readabout because of things I have had to/still deal with, another reason that I chose to watch thefilm was the two main stars, Angelina Jolie and Winona Ryder. I think that both actresses playany character well, no matter how different the character might be to any other they haveplayed. I also enjoy The Lord of The Rings trilogy, this is mainly because when I was youngermy Grandad was a fan of the books and films and from him talking about them and making mewatch them I have gone on to read the books and enjoy the films more as now I’m older I canunderstand them more. This has also made me want to see The Hobbit film that has recentlycome out as it is a Prequel to these films. This backs up the theory that your background caninfluence the type of films you see and enjoy.