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Genre theory
 

Genre theory

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Rick Altman's Genre Theory Powerpoint

Rick Altman's Genre Theory Powerpoint

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    Genre theory Genre theory Presentation Transcript

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