As media. Genre, Narrative.

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Genre- French meaning Type
A means of classifying films based on reacurring elements within them.
The concept of genre is a way of classifying particular styles or types of media texts by identifying common elements which are repeated over and over again". O' Sullivan,Dutton & Raynor, studying the media, Hodder Arnold(04)

These elements may be linked to:

  • Codes
    Visual codes such as iconography
    Audio codes such as dialogue
  • Iconography
    - Costumes, Props, Weather
  • Conventions ( the ways in which things are usually done- the "rules")
    - Typical situations: expectations
    -Stock characters: Typical characters
    -Narrative structures
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Genre continued

Visual style
- Thematic elements (whats being explored) or binary oppositions(opposits)


+ Genres are not staticthey develop and change over time.
+ Films may combine elements of different genres i.e. HYBRID
+ Films may also belong to more specific sub genres such as GOTHIC HORROR or SLASHER
Subgenre- categories within
Hybrid-sevril genres

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Narrative- The story or the way the story is told

Maybe open or closed.
Open narrative leaves the strands unfinished, open for the next episode or sequal soap operas.
Closed narrative is the one in which the narrative strands are tied by the end e.g. films.

  • Narratives may be single (following one plot)
  • multistrand(more than one plot)
  • Linear (beg,middle,end)
  • Non-Linear (no particular order)
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Narrative continued

Story types

- The flawless person (spiderman, gladiator)
- The dream comes true (nottinghill, save the last dance)
- The chase (terminator)
- Selling your soul to the devil (devils advocate)
- The loss of something personal (sixth sense, gladiator)
Romeo + Juliet
- The love story (Titanic, Nottinghill)
- The eternal triangle, man loves woman, one or the other loves someone else. (star dust)
-Many films blend 2 or more of these stories: Psycho combines Circe,Orpheus + Faust.

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Narrative 3

- Equilibrium: Everythings right.
- Disruption: something goes wrong
- Recognition: Recognising that something is wrong
- Resolution: Resolve the situation
- Equilibrium again

Todorov in The Lion King
Equilibrium- Simba is born
Disruption- Scar kills Mufasa
Recognition- Nala fins Simba
Resolution- Simba kills Scar
Equilibrium- Nala and Simba have a cub

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Narrative 4

Proppian Roles

  • Hero- motivated by something normally a lack of something. Not necassarily a heroic character but more a person that carries the story along. (Simba
  • Villain- The bad guy, corrupting, knows a secret (Scar)
  • Princess- reward for the hero, objects to the villain (Nala)
  • Donor- provides the hero with essential objects e.g. advice (Mufasa)
  • Blocker- Someone who tries to make the hero fail (zazoo)
  • King- rewards the hero, father figure (Mufasa)
  • Despatcher- sends the hero on a mission (Nala)
  • Henchman- aid the villain ( Hyenas)
  • Helpers- aid the hero ( Timone and Pumba)
  • False hero- who is seen as the hero but isn't really, decpetive character (Scar)
  • Temptress - an allruing woman out to make the hero fail ( Hyenas)

Propp studied hundreds of folk stories and devised a list focusing on specific characters + events/actions.

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Narrative 5

Propps spheres of action

  • The hero sets out on a quest, sent out be despatcher
    (Phil trains hercules then sends him on his quest)
  • The princess is threatened by the villain and rescued by the hero
    (Meg has sold her soul to hades, Hercules gives up his power)
  • The donor gives the hero something to help him on his quest
    (Hercules' adoptive parents show him the necklace off his mother)
  • The blocker causes obstacles on the quest (Pain and panic)
  • The hero is tempted from his quest (He falls in love with Meg)
  • The hero is rewarded by the king (Zues creates a picture of hercules in the stars, to hail him as a true hero)
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Narrative 6

Levi Strauss

  • Narrative consists of sets of binary oppositions which drive the narrative:
    Good V Evil
    Dark V Light
    Young V Old
    Human V Immortal
    Past V Present
    Hot V Cold
    Man V Woman
  • Audiences follow the narrative in order to see the resolution of these oppositions.
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Narrative 7

Roland Barthes proposed that narratives are propelled by a series of codes e.g.

  • Enigma codes (hermeneutic) a question that is not immediatly answered thus draws an audience into the text (who is the chosen one in harry potter)
  • Action code-immediatly understandable action in a film (proairectec), can offer a short hand for describing how things are progressing/advancing e.g. place=someone will arrive in snother country
  • Symbolic codes - codes that can be decoded on a mainly connotational level - all the things which draw upon our experience and understanding of other media texts.Broad themes are often structed in oppositions (Strauss) (The characters of Shrek)
  • Cultural codes- code of reference to knowledge outside of the text e.g. accents, knowledge about particular places, parody of other texts/films.
    Viewer brings this knowledge to the film e.g. colour red=Danger,passion or stop

    Time and space ellipsis
    -cutting out all interviening time
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Ryan Dipper


Warning !!!! Massive lion king spoilers, god damn, i was looking forward to seeing that

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