Genre, narrative, representation and audience


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Genre, narrative, representation and audience

  2. 2.  genre |ˈZHänrə|  noun  a category of artistic composition characterized by similarities in form, style, or subject matter.  Genre can be seen in many forms of art or entertainment, including books (e.g romantic or fantasy novels) and music (e.g rock and pop). Genre is used to classify people‟s tastes into specific categories.  FOR EXAMPLE: There are several genres of film including, Fantasy, Thriller, Romance and Comedy. GENRE
  3. 3.  Genre is particularly important in the Film Industry so audiences can form expectations of certain films based on their genre. For example, a person may anticipate and enjoy going to see comedy films as they assume it will be filled with jokes and humor. GENRE- FILM
  4. 4.  Daniel Chandler states that genres are “based on the idea that they share particular convention of content e.g themes or setting”  Robert Stam also gives other examples of categorizing films into genres, for example story content, budget, racial identity or sexual orientation.  These theories can be applied to the Horror genre, as all Horror films tend to have common conventions. For example, horror usually contains horrific or violent themes, spooky settings, are usually low budget (as opposed to sci-fi films which spend great amounts of money on special effects) and have low lighting and dark colours throughout. GENRE- THEORY
  5. 5.  A narrative is any story of events that are connected which is presented through film or spoken words.  When referring to film, narrative is the actual storyline or way that the story is structured or portrayed to the audience. NARRATIVE
  6. 6.  According to Vladimir Propp, who analysed 100 russian fairytales, there are several types of characters that were common in the narratives:  The villain (struggles against the hero)  · The donor (prepares the hero or gives the hero some magical object)  · The (magical) helper (helps the hero in the quest)  · The princess (person the hero marries, often sought for during the narrative)  · The false hero (perceived as good character in beginning but emerges as evil)  · The dispatcher (character who makes the lack known and sends the hero off)  · The hero or victim/seeker hero, reacts to the donor, weds the princess NARRATIVE THEORY
  7. 7.  Propps theory can be applied to horror films, for example, there is usually a hero and a villain, with great emphasis on the villain (e.g Freddy Krueger in Nightmare on Elm Street) and the princess, who is usually in the form of an attractive young woman who the villain targets.  However, some horror films do not fit the character types perfectly, for example in the film “I Spit on Your Grave” (2010), the female protagonist begins as a princess, damsel in distress type character, but turns into a villain as she gets revenge. However It could be argued that she is a Hero as she is getting revenge for being sexually abused. NARRATIVE THEORY
  8. 8.  Noel Carrol narrative theory on Horror NARRATIVE- HORROR GENRE Historical: set in an imagined past without suggestion of supernatural Natural: events appear to be supernatural, but eventually are given a rational explanation Equivocal: the presence of the supernatural is ambiguous, and often given a psychological explanation; this is the origin of modern-day “uncanny” or “fantastic” fictions Supernatural: unnatural forces are clearly asserted; this is the origin of modern-day horror fictions Here are some examples of horror narrative sub-types proposed by Carrol…
  9. 9.  Todorov‟s theory…  This is a theory on narrative which can be applied to several horror films and states that a story begins in equilibrium, is then disrupted and then aims to become back to „normal‟.  For example, in the film “The Orphan”, a normal family wants to adopt a daughter (the equilibrium) who turns out to be murderous and aims to break up the family (the disruption of the equilibrium), the adopted daughter is then killed at the climax of the film (return to equilibrium) NARRATIVE THEORY
  10. 10.  Representation is simply the nature of how something or someone is portrayed in a media product.  Many different social groups and sub-cultures can be represented in different ways in the film industry, including ethnic minorities and the different socio-economic classes. For example, in comedies, homosexual men are usually portrayed as flamboyant and effeminate. Representations in films can lead to negative stereotypes. REPRESENTATION
  11. 11.  One theory that can be applied to the horror genre in particular is Laura Mulvey‟s Male Gaze theory. This theory states that because “heterosexual men were in control of the camera”, the audience of the film is therefore put in the perspective a a heterosexual man. This can be applied to the horror genre because women are normally portrayed as weak and in need of help which is a common view for sexist men and may even attract them to the film. Horror films may also view women as sex objects as it is common for women to be sparsely dressed when running from the villain, this connotes vulnerability. REPRESENTATION THEORY
  12. 12.  An audience is the person or people viewing, listening to or engaging in a particular media product.  The following slides show some theories related to audiences of horror films. AUDIENCE THEORY
  13. 13. PSYCHOLOGICAL THEORY- THE UNCANNY  This was developed by Sigmund Freud, founder of Psychodynamic theory (unconscious drives, internal conflicts from childhood etc.)  His theory of the Uncanny can help explain why some people are so attracted to the horror genre  The theory states that cognitive dissonance occurs when something is familiar and foreign at the same time.  For example, people are attracted to paranormal films because Ghosts are similar to the human form, yet look frightening. This would be perceived as being uncomfortably unfamiliar
  14. 14. FEMINIST THEORY- SADISTIC VOYEURISM  This was developed by feminist film theorist Laura Mulvey (the male gaze etc.)  Her theory of sadistic voyeurism can also explain why some people are attracted to the horror genre.  This is when a weaker female character is performing a daily, personal or intimate task (e.g getting changed or having sex) where a strong male character abuses her privacy in a sadistic way (think the shower scene in the film, Psycho)
  15. 15. SOCIAL/RELATIONSHIP THEORY- SNUGGLE THEORY  This suggests that people watch horror films to resort back to their traditional gender roles when a male watches the film with the female.  When a frightening scene occurs the male takes on the traditional and cultural role of a male who is supportive and protective over the scared female.  This can result in a stronger bond between the couple.