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Genre 9th December, 2011 Magdalena Tutka - Gwozdz, Ph. D. Department of Media and Communication.

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Presentation on theme: "Genre 9th December, 2011 Magdalena Tutka - Gwozdz, Ph. D. Department of Media and Communication."— Presentation transcript:

1 Genre 9th December, 2011 Magdalena Tutka - Gwozdz, Ph. D. Department of Media and Communication

2 Defining a Genre the word "genre" (with French origin) means kind or type. need to form a shared sense that certain films seem to resemble one another in significant ways.

3 Particular genres are recognizable by: their subjects or themes, f. ex. Western, science-fiction the emotional effect they aim for, f. comedy, thriller the plot pattern, f. ex. detective film manner of presentation, f. ex. musical few large, blanket genre categories that fit many films, f. ex. musicals, thrillers, horrors

4 The role genres play in the cinema industry: affect industry officials decisions serve as a simple way to characterize film for publicity

5 Analyzing a Genre There are specific conventions serving as pathway into the film for the viewer: certain plot elements theme or general meanings characteristic film techniques characteristic objects and settings (iconography) iconographic star Conventions can be also reinvent or reject

6 Genre History Conventions change over time. This is the result of: borrowing existing conventions from the other media genre mixing mixing genres across the cultures technology a genre never dies, however it do not remain constantly successful. A batch of genre films that enjoys intense popularity and influence over a distinct period is called a cycle.

7 The Social Functions of Genres: reaffirm cultural values with little variation serve to distract the audience from social problems exploit ambivalent social values and attitudes channel negative emotions into approved attitudes, f. ex. gangster film display the audience's doubts or anxieties and correspond with current social situation. reflect social attitudes, as if in a mirror (reflectionist" approach) reflect filmmakers' guess about what can bring them to commercial success

8 Rick Altman, A Semantic / Syntactic Approach to Film Genre fundamentally bivalent nature of the genre a double function - most genres go through a period of accommodation during which the public's desires are fitted to Hollywood's priorities (and vice versa). (...)Whenever a lasting fit is obtained - which it is whenever a semantic genre becomes a syntactic one - it is because a common ground has been found, a region where the audience's ritual values coincide with Hollywood's ideological ones.

9 dual approach allows to grasp intergeneric connections typically suppressed by single­minded approaches, as well as to establish a new continuity, relating film analysis, genre theory, and genre history. The distinction between the semantic and the syntactic (...) thus corresponds to a distinction between the primary, linguistic elements of which all texts are made and the secondary, textual meanings that are sometimes constructed by virtue of the syntactic bonds established between primary elements. linguistic elements are developed into the textual meaning.

10 Please read! Description of three genres (western, thriller and musical), Film Art. An Introduction, pp. 338 - 346

11 Film examples (conventions and innovations) Western: High Noon, Fred Zinnemann (1952) / Once Upon a Time in the West, Sergio Leone (1968) Thriller: Nosferatu, Fredich Wilhelm Murnau (1922) / Rosmarys Baby, Roman Polański (1968) Gangster Film: Little Caesar, Mervyn LeRoy (1931) / Goodfellas, Martin Scorsese (1990) Science - fiction: Metropolis, Fritz Lang (1927) / Blade Runner, Ridley Scott (1982) Musical: American in Paris, Vincent Minelli (1951) / The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Jim Sharman (1975) / Tango, Carlos Saura (1998) Please read! Functions of Film Sound in K. Thompson / D. Bordwell, Film Art, pp. 298 - 307; Writing a Critical Analysis of a Film in K. Thompson / D. Bordwell, Film Art, pp. 443 - 451 Thank you!

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