Question 1B theories

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  • Question 1B
    • Genre
      • Steve Neale
        • ‘genres are not systems they are processes’
        • Genres evolve over time however there are still generic characteristics across all texts that share similar elements
          • typical Mise-en-scene, types of narrative and generic types
      • Graeme Burton
        • Filmsfrom a particular genre all contain 6 recognisable conventions these were: protagonist/antagonists, stock characters and situations, icons, background & décor and themes.
        • You are able to identify the genre of a film by the way in which any of these conventions are presented.
        • The main theme that is explored in horror films is not sub genre specific but applies to the genre as a whole.
          • In most films the message portrayed shows conflict between right and wrong, good and evil- often shown through protagonist and antagonists relationship.
      • Christian Metz’s
        • There are 4 development stages that can be applied to a genre; Classical, Experimental Parody and Deconstruction
          • Structures have started to collapse so many of the genres share conventions; many genres have started to merge in order to appeal to wider audiences.
          • We are in the deconstruction stage as the thriller genre has now evolved into a stage where hybrids are evident. The different genres have now fused with several other genre creating sub-categories the most established being horror/thriller hybrids.
          • Conventions are becoming too predictable as they are used too much and therefore they are mixed in order to increase hybridity and make something new
      • genre gives us an idea of what to expect from a film
      • Nicholas Abercombie
        • The boundaries between genres are shifting and becoming more permeable.
    • Narrative
      • Todorov
        • equilibrium, disruption and resolution = a linear narrative.
          • The equilibrium sets up the characters, setting time and normal atmosphere at the beginning of the trailer, then it leads up to the disruption this traditionally happens around 29 seconds of the trailer.
      • Levi-Straus
        • all stories operated to certain clear Binary Opposites for example good vs. evil, black vs. white.
        • The importance of these ideas is that essentially a complicated world is reduced to a simple structure, things are either right or wrong – there is no in between
      • Domaille
        • eight basic plots that all story lines are based on
          • Only 3 of these narratives however are linked to horror – Faust, Cycle and Orpheus
            • Faust is a selfish act that is performed for self-benefit but consequently turns out bad
            • Cycle is simple an antagonist chasing a protagonist
              • The audience is able to identify with the film and know what to expect
            • Orpheus is suffering, loss of people and seeing dead people
      • A way of organising spatial and temporal events into a cause-effect chain of events with a beginning, a middle and end that embodies a judgment about the nature of events’
    • Representation
      • final girl by Carol Clover
        • common characteristic Masculine appearance , and the conventional the use of a phallic symbol,
      • male gaze theory by Laura Mulvey
        • a women’s body is displayed on screen, making the viewer a ****** who experiences ****** pleasure from seeing the female character,
          • this 'controls' the woman making her making a sexual 'object'
            • camera shots often portray a misogynistic perspective.
      • Sarah Dobbs view on feminisim
        • complex, interesting female characters are very rare in horror films as they are conventionally given simplistic and small roles as this is a embodiment of how they are represented.
          • women are treated like decorative 'objects' and  conveyed as disposable victims
      • John Burger
        • men act and look at women. Women appearand watch themselves being looked at
          • Females are represented as submissive, passive, emotional and sexual.
            • Men are represented as dominant, strong, intellectual and authoritative
              • the victim is always female and they typically are shown to be screaming and crying as they are conveyed as being defenseless whereas the antagonist who is generally male, promotes male dominance over women,showing that men are more powerful.
    • Audience
      • Active Audience Theory
        • idea that as individual we can interpret media texts in different ways.
          • uses and gratification theory-Blulmer and Katz
            • audience consumption was based on active audience choices and individuals have different uses for texts and we all expect to get something from it – gratification.
              • power lies with the audience as they use the media in order to meet their individual needs and they are free to reject, use or play with the media.
                • These can be divided into five specific needs; Cognitive (the need to gain knowledge), Affective (to satisfy emotional needs), Personal integrative (changing lifestyles in order to be ‘cool’), Social (to find out what their peers are doing) and Tension free needs (using it as an outlet for tension).
          • Catharsis Theory
            • based on the emotional effect experienced by people who use the media to purge or cleanse negative emotions such as fear or anger.
              • watching aggressive media output, does not make viewers more aggressive but the contrary, since the aggression experienced through the media purges the viewer of aggression, the result of watching violence is in fact less aggression.
    • Media Language
      • Ferdinand de Saussure
        • tried to differentiate the difference between the signifier and signified
          • The referent is the real thing; not the signal or the idea but the real individual object. The sign or symbol we see does not make sense without the actual object and the meaning it creates.
        • signifier is the physical form of the sign and the signified is the concept or idea that the signifier produced.
      • Media language in film can  be split into different sections; symbolic , written, audio and technical codes
        • Technical codes
          • camera shots, angles, movements and composition.
            • The ways in which all of these shots are edited together; this can be done using continuity, and montage editing.
              • Continuity: where there is continuous action shown in sequence which subsequently supports the narrative.
              • montage editing, a series of seemingly unrelated shots that the audience must work to connect

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