The definition of ‘Postmodernism’ describes the postmodernist movement in the arts. This
term came about around the 1870’s.
Postmodernism challenges stereotypical film to push the boundaries and promote
originality/creativity in today’s modern media.
Nowadays, a lot of pastiche are produced, this is a Postmodern way of challenging the old with
the new by combining the two.
Narratives that challenge conventional film narratives with non-cliché styles/characters e.g.
Non-Linear narratives challenge the conventional Todorov’s 3 act narrative by mixing up the
sequence in which each act takes place e.g. beginning with the disruption of equilibrium
Anti-narratives are a Postmodern way of disrupting and challenging conventional narratives.
E.g. Freeze frames, meta – referencing and voce overs. These are used in films such as ‘Lock
Stock and Two Smoking Barrels’.
The definition of ‘Dystopia’ is an imaginary place or state in which the condition of life is
extremely bad, as from deprivation, oppression, or terror. These are usually influenced by
environmental issues or some sort of totalitarian power over the majority of people. In
other words it defines the opposite of ‘Utopia’.
Dystopia uses Postmodern themes by presenting viewers with a futuristic catastrophe,
including post apocalyptic worlds and totalitarian communities ruling over people, these
give the audience a hyperrealism experience. e.g. 28 Days Later (2002) and Mad Max 2
The narrative usually starts with the disruption of the equilibrium and the film will revolve
around the characters attempting to resolve it. This challenges Todorov’s theory because
in a lot of dystopian films the equilibrium is not restored.
A lot of these dystopian post-apocalyptic films feature real-time fears in society e.g.
environmental changes, technology, medical advances etc. This helps the audience relate
to what is going on.
• The word ‘Genre’ is French, it translates into ‘type’ or ‘kind’. In the Media we
tend to use it as a ‘category’ for media texts.
• ‘Genre’ was first used by Aristotle inn Ancient Greek theatre to produce a
‘quality control’ over different categories of play, where deviation wasn’t very
• ‘Genre’ (definition – Type) an important tool that allows categorisation of films
according to certain conventions (iconography) e.g. Mise en Scene,
Cinematography, Lighting and Sound: these all have a deep influence on
how films are classed.
• Post Modernism has proved that ‘genre’ is not static by merging them
together to form ‘hybrids’ e.g. Horror Thrillers, Crime Thrillers, Romantic
Comedies etc. This has a lot of benefits, one being that hybrids attract
Crime film originates from Hollywood Gangster films from the silent era around the
1920’s, these crime films actually reflected what was going on in the current period
e.g. Around the 1930’s when Al Capone was at large, ‘Public Enemy’ was released.
Gangster films were still about in the 1970/80’s but had become a lot darker and
violent featuring drug dealing and mobs. This was around the time of the economic
depression where films like Mean Streets (1973) and Scarface (1983) were released.
Blaxploitation films also came about around this era, these films had a mainly all black
cast, the films used a lot of stereotypes and dealt with racism and drug dealing etc.
The 1990’s was the era of Postmodern crime, around this time there were a lot of
different ideologies going about. Some directors pushed themselves away from the
flock by using ideas from the past and the present to challenge the modern era. Films
like Pulp Fiction (1994) and Jackie Brown (1997) were released, both of these films
were produced by Quentin Tarantino who is a famous Postmodern director.
• Around the 1940/50’s ‘British Noir’ came about, reflecting British
Crime/everyday life around that era e.g. ‘Brighton Rock’ which was
released in 1947.
• During the 1970/80’s ‘gritty’ British crime immersed itself into films
where all the lead roles were taken by strong stereotypical male
characters, these films also represented gang culture etc. a good film
example of this era is ‘Get Carter’ released in 1971.
• As the 90’s rolled on, British gangster films converted themselves to
Postmodernism where films like ‘Sexy Beast’(2000) and ‘Snatch’(2000)
were produced. These films borrowed iconography from past British
crime films which often featured cockney slang and ‘New Laddism’
(subculture)to add a comical edge to it.