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adapted from Thurston Community College work

adapted from Thurston Community College work

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  • Other key words used to describe Thrillers Uncertainty, anxiety, terror, adrenaline rush


  • 1. The Thriller Genre► Why is genre so important?► What are the codes and conventions of Thrillers?► What films do I know about?► What directors do I know about? 1
  • 2. Institutional use of genre► Film producers use genre as a means of minimising the economic risk in making films► Film distributors/exhibitors use genre as a means of advertising and promoting films► Both depend upon audiences’ foreknowledge and past experience 2
  • 3. Audience use of genre► Audiences use genre to give them predictable pleasures when consuming/watching a film► Audiences have certain expectations of genre films► Audiences expect genre films to involve innovation, inflection/subversion of the generic conventions 3
  • 4. Generic conventions► A film genre is defined by its codes and conventions and these must be present to make a film a genre film but should involve some aspect of innovation, subversion and/or inflection (otherwise it becomes a formula film)  Mise-en-scene  Setting  Visual style  Themes  Ideology  Stars  Character-types  Narratives  Iconography  Cinematography  Special effects  Sound/music 4
  • 5. Definition? James Patterson, June 2006, "Introduction," Thriller► ...Thrillers provide such a rich literary feast. There are all kinds. The legal thriller, spy thriller, action-adventure thriller, medical thriller, police thriller, romantic thriller, historical thriller, political thriller, religious thriller, high-tech thriller, military thriller. The list goes on and on, with new variations constantly being invented. In fact, this openness to expansion is one of the genres most enduring characteristics. But what gives the variety of thrillers a common ground is the intensity of emotions they create, particularly those of apprehension and exhilaration, of excitement and breathlessness, all designed to generate that all-important thrill. By definition, if a thriller doesnt thrill, its not doing its job. 5
  • 6. What is a Thriller?► Uses suspense, tension and excitement as the main elements► Includes many sub genres: Mystery, Crime, Psychological, Political and Paranoid.► Atmosphere of menace, violence, crime and murder.► Society is seen as dark corrupt and dangerous► Literary devices like plot twist, red herrings, and cliff hangers 6
  • 7. Thriller Methods?► Crime: ransoms, cativities, heists, revenge, kidnappings► Mystery: investigations, ‘whodunit technique’► Psychological: mind games, psychological themes, stalking, confinement, deathtraps, horror of personality, obsession 7
  • 8. Thriller Characters?► Criminals, Stalkers, Assassins, Psychotic individuals, escaped cons► Menaced women, innocent victims, private eyes, world weary people,► Cops, people involved in twisted relationship► Characters are often not black or white (bad or good), grey is dominant! 8
  • 9. Thriller Films ► The Departed► Inception ► The Prestige► Fight Club ► Bladerunner► Pyscho ► Se7en► Silence of the ► Reservoir Dogs Lambs ► Bourne Identity► Memento ► North by Northwest► Dark Knight► The Shilling 9
  • 10. Others? 10
  • 11. Thriller Directors► Alfred Hitchcock ► Roman Polaski► Brian de Palma ► Ridley Scott► Stanley Kubrick ► M Night Shyamalan► David Fincher ► Steven Spielberg► Orson Welles ► Quentin Tarantino ► Christopher Nolan ► Tony Scott ► John Carpenter ► David Cronenberg ► Jonathan Demme 11
  • 12. Techniques► Use of tracking ► Strong directional lighting► POV ► Over exposed or colour manicpulation► ECUs/CUs ► Fast paced editing esp for► Reveals (track in/ zoom chase scenes in) ► Jump Cuts► Dramatic angles ► Parallel editing► Eerie, tense music ► Obtrusive Editing► Off screen sounds ► Silence► Low key lighting ► Exaggerated sound► Chiaroscuro ► Disorientation of time/space 12
  • 13. Narrative Techniques► Plot twists and turns ► Deadlines► Multiple lines of ► Principleof action concealment► Flashbacks ► Mysterious► Narrative retardation characters► Red herrings ► Morally complex characters► Chases/pursuits ► Making the audience► Mis direction work 13
  • 14. Activity► Think of a thriller film you know well and like► Explain in writing why you think this film should be watched by everyone at Reigate College because it is the best example of a Thriller film. Make links to the codes and conventions we have talked about. 14