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Genre theory
Genre theory
Genre theory
Genre theory
Genre theory
Genre theory
Genre theory
Genre theory
Genre theory
Genre theory
Genre theory
Genre theory
Genre theory
Genre theory
Genre theory
Genre theory
Genre theory
Genre theory
Genre theory
Genre theory
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Genre theory

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Rick Altman's Genre Theory Powerpoint

Rick Altman's Genre Theory Powerpoint

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  • 1. Media Theory Genre
  • 2. Genre <ul><li>What is Genre? </li></ul><ul><li>Genre means kind or type </li></ul><ul><li>List as many genres as you can </li></ul><ul><li>Identify characteristics of each genre </li></ul>
  • 3. Genre <ul><li>Genres have characteristic features that are known to and recognised by audiences </li></ul><ul><li>This ‘formula’ is reproduced again and again </li></ul><ul><li>E.g. in a Western we see similar characters, situations and settings </li></ul>
  • 4. Genre <ul><li>Audiences and Genres </li></ul><ul><li>Why do audiences find genres satisfying? </li></ul><ul><li>Audiences develop an understanding that certain expectations may be fulfilled and they may find pleasure in predicting what will happen next </li></ul>
  • 5. Genre <ul><li>Institutions and Genre </li></ul><ul><li>Producers of generic narratives depend on a certain amount of immediate communication with the audience </li></ul><ul><li>They want the narrative to be easily comprehensible </li></ul><ul><li>Genres that use key components that are easily recognisable are particularly important </li></ul>
  • 6. Genre <ul><li>Audiences know what to expect from a genre but at the same time want some variations to prevent dissatisfaction and even boredom </li></ul><ul><li>Thus any text in a genre is a combination of the familiar and the unexpected </li></ul>
  • 7. Genre <ul><li>Key Components of Genre </li></ul><ul><li>STOCK CHARACTERS </li></ul><ul><li>STOCK PLOTS, SITUATIONS, ISSUES AND THEMES </li></ul><ul><li>STOCK LOCATIONS AND BACKDROPS </li></ul><ul><li>STOCK PROPS AND SIGNIFIERS </li></ul><ul><li>MUSIC AND SOUNDS </li></ul><ul><li>GENERIC CONVENTIONS </li></ul>
  • 8. Genre <ul><li>Problems of genre </li></ul><ul><li>Actually defining a genre is inherently problematic </li></ul><ul><li>E.g. What is the difference between an Action/Adventure film and a Thriller? </li></ul><ul><li>Or between a thriller and a Horror film? </li></ul><ul><li>Is Seven a Thriller, a Horror film, or a Film Noir? </li></ul><ul><li>Is Film Noir a genre? </li></ul>
  • 9. Genre <ul><li>We can hope to engage with these problems by considering a more advanced approach to Genre Theory </li></ul><ul><li>Rick Altman in his book Film/Genre has proposed what he calls the: </li></ul><ul><li>SEMANTIC/SYNTACTIC APPROACH </li></ul>
  • 10. Genre <ul><li>Using this approach we need to consider genre in two ways: </li></ul><ul><li>1. SEMANTIC </li></ul><ul><li>This is concerned with the conventions of the genre that communicate to the audience such as characters, locations, props, music, shooting style and other signifiers </li></ul>
  • 11. Genre <ul><li>E.g. In a Western we would expect to see: </li></ul><ul><li>Horses </li></ul><ul><li>Guns </li></ul><ul><li>Hats </li></ul><ul><li>Wilderness </li></ul><ul><li>Native Americans </li></ul><ul><li>Etc </li></ul>
  • 12. Genre <ul><li>2. SYNTACTIC </li></ul><ul><li>This is concerned with the relations between these elements and the structure of narratives in genres </li></ul><ul><li>E.g. In a romantic comedy we expect the potential lovers to begin by not liking each other </li></ul><ul><li>There are then a series of meetings/problems (enigmas) which culminate in their successful relationship </li></ul>
  • 13. Genre <ul><li>By employing this SEMANTIC/SYNTACTIC approach it enables us to produce a more sophisticated reading of any genre </li></ul><ul><li>However, this approach can be developed further by also considering audiences and institutions </li></ul>
  • 14. Genre <ul><li>Altman expanded his approach to include these elements by proposing a SEMANTIC/SYNTACTIC/PRAGMATIC approach </li></ul><ul><li>This latter aspect includes institutions and audiences </li></ul>
  • 15. Genre <ul><li>1. INSTITUTIONS </li></ul><ul><li>Genre as a mode of production </li></ul><ul><li>Institutions (Film Studios) will produce films in genres </li></ul><ul><li>E.g. in a certain year they will produce: </li></ul><ul><li>A number of films in the following genres: </li></ul><ul><li>Action/Adventure, Sci-Fi, Horror, Rom-Com, Teenage Comedy etc </li></ul>
  • 16. Genre <ul><li>This mix of genres is to ensure that the maximum possible audience is catered for </li></ul><ul><li>Certain genres come into and out of favour due to the perceived audience response </li></ul><ul><li>E.g. The Western and the musical have all but disappeared </li></ul><ul><li>The horror film has come back into fashion </li></ul>
  • 17. Genre <ul><li>2. AUDIENCES </li></ul><ul><li>Audiences may read genre texts in a variety of ways </li></ul><ul><li>They may, in effect, create and re-create genres </li></ul><ul><li>Thus through audience responses new genres are created </li></ul><ul><li>E.g. the new martial art films from Japan, Hong Kong etc which have become very popular in the USA and UK </li></ul>
  • 18. Genre <ul><li>Also it is necessary to consider how Web 2.0 has impacted on audiences – user generated content </li></ul><ul><li>Audiences can now be active consumers of texts and can manipulate genres and generic conventions for their own pleasures </li></ul><ul><li>E.g. The Shining reworked </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KmkVWuP_sO0&feature=related </li></ul>
  • 19. Genre <ul><li>Consider also Michael Wesch’s video essays describing the impact of Web 2.0 </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TPAO-lZ4_hU </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gmP4nk0EOE </li></ul>
  • 20. Genre <ul><li>Altman’s SEMANTIC/SYNTACTIC/PRAGMATIC approach can also be applied to texts such as Thrillers and Pop Promo Videos </li></ul><ul><li>How might this be applied to your AS or A2 coursework? </li></ul>

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