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Iconography in film and television

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Iconography in film and television

  1. 1. Iconography in Film and Television Iconography is used within film studies to describe the visual language of cinema, particularly within the field of genre criticism. Iconography is an important aspect of genre. We expect to see certain objects on screen when we see a particular genre, for example, in a Western, dusty lonely roads, saloon bars, cowboy hats and horses, jails, sheriffs badges, guns, etc.; in a modern horror film, we expect young girls, ‘normal’ objects, use of dark and light, etc. These ‘genre indicators’ are called the iconography of the mise-en- scene or genre. Watch the following title sequence and answer this: How is the setting and theme of the television drama represented? What do you reckon this show is all about? Discuss: iconography, mise-en-scene (shot choices, pacing, setting, costume, lighting, staging, editing and sound), target audience, and genre. Please give examples.

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