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  1. 1. The Concept of Genre in Film <ul><li>An examination of the main debates surrounding the functions and purposes of genre in film, including how, and why, definitions of particular genres change according to the context of their production. (OCR Specification) </li></ul>
  2. 2. Why do genres change over time? <ul><li>Genres are not a fixed set of characteristics </li></ul><ul><li>They reflect the changing times & societies in which they were produced. </li></ul><ul><li>They also reflect changes in the film industry. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Changes in Audiences <ul><li>Institutions need to have a clear idea of the target audience before production begins. </li></ul><ul><li>It is often argued the film audiences have become younger over the years. </li></ul><ul><li>This is known as the “juvenilisation” of cinema </li></ul><ul><li>Heterosexual couples </li></ul>
  4. 4. Changes in Audience Expectations <ul><li>Contemporary audiences are a lot more “clued up” than early cinema audiences </li></ul><ul><li>Familiarity with codes & conventions raises audience expectations </li></ul><ul><li>Based upon this, film-makers can manipulate emotions </li></ul>
  5. 5. Changes in Society, Ideologies, Values & Representations <ul><li>Contemporary audiences are harder to shock </li></ul><ul><li>They are more accustomed to graphic representations of sex, violence, bad language etc </li></ul><ul><li>They are used to seeing spectacular effects </li></ul>
  6. 6. Changes in Society <ul><li>Texts reflect the values & concerns of society </li></ul><ul><li>Changing position of women, governments, levels of employment, economic climates, national & international conflicts, disease, transport systems, immigration & emigration, attitudes to sex, violence & the family, aesthetic movements. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Censorship & Codes of Conduct <ul><li>Modern audiences are more used to graphic sex, violence & swearing. </li></ul><ul><li>The boundaries of what is considered “tasteful” are stretched more and more each year. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Influence of Particular Texts, Authors, Stars & Directors <ul><li>Genres can be heavily influenced and suddenly rekindle their popularity or change direction because of the impact of individual texts which come to be seen as genre defining. </li></ul><ul><li>These are rare moments and often become apparent long after a text has been released, when its impact can clearly be seen. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Authors, Stars & Directors <ul><li>“ Great” directors are often imitated </li></ul><ul><li>Some films are “showcases” for stars, and seek to exploit their popularity. </li></ul><ul><li>The names of certain authors will guarantee funding for a film </li></ul><ul><li>John Grisham (Thrillers), Philip K. Dick (Sci-Fi), J.K Rowling. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Media Institutions (The Film Industry) <ul><li>The consumption of a text is the final stage in a lengthy process beginning with media owners deciding to fund a project. </li></ul><ul><li>Over time, particular studios become associated with certain genres & they will influence the style of the texts they produce. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Changes in Technology <ul><li>Technological advances in the film industry - e.g the steadicam. </li></ul><ul><li>Digital video - fast paced editing techniques </li></ul><ul><li>The Blair Witch Project </li></ul>
  12. 12. Tackling the timed essay question <ul><li>Make brief references to origins of both genres. </li></ul><ul><li>Make much more specific references to texts studied in class - Halloween, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Star Wars, The Matrix. </li></ul><ul><li>Many points excellent but lacked detailed references to these texts. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Examples <ul><li>Changes in attitudes - Star Wars / Matrix </li></ul><ul><li>Similarities in attitudes - Star Wars / Matrix </li></ul><ul><li>Genre defining films & subsequent establishment of new codes & conventions - Halloween / Elm Street </li></ul><ul><li>Could argue things don’t change that radically in film genres - Halloween & Elm Street in context of whole genre. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Media Forms and Conventions <ul><li>Codes and conventions of different genres </li></ul><ul><li>What are the 6 properties that define the generic textual features of a film? </li></ul>
  15. 15. Media Forms & Conventions cont... <ul><li>Construction of realism and other codes </li></ul><ul><li>Strengths and weaknesses of genre theory </li></ul>
  16. 16. Media Institutions <ul><li>Hollywood’s “production line” approach to genre </li></ul><ul><li>Specific studios </li></ul><ul><li>Pre / post - production </li></ul><ul><li>Distribution & exhibition </li></ul><ul><li>Genre as a marketing tool </li></ul>
  17. 17. Media Audiences <ul><li>Pleasures & expectations </li></ul><ul><li>Audience identification </li></ul><ul><li>Fans & Cults </li></ul><ul><li>Genre as “contract” </li></ul>
  18. 18. Media Representations <ul><li>Character types - stereotypes & archetypes </li></ul><ul><li>Representation of gender, race, nationality, sexuality etc </li></ul><ul><li>Ideological dominant values </li></ul><ul><li>Typecasting </li></ul><ul><li>Genre as a “reading” device </li></ul>
  19. 19. Repetition and Difference <ul><li>Apparently a contradiction in terms, this refers to the fact genre films must offer more of the same to satisfy the audience’s expectations, but must also offer something new so they aren’t bored. </li></ul>
  20. 20. Why are genres so popular? <ul><li>Genres make the world appear more predictable and less complicated </li></ul><ul><li>This way of representing ‘reality’ to us is an example of ideology. Each genre offers a set of values or beliefs (violence is a legitimate means to an end) that are implicit within the film (not always made obvious). </li></ul>