Lesson 1 Glossary catharsis – a feeling of release or relief cinematic conventions - a convention is a usual way of doing things; cinematic conventions are techniques shared by filmmakers, a common style of presenting a story genre – a type or category paranoia – distrust of others, a fear or suspicion Prohibition - referring to the 19 th Amendment in which the sale of alcohol was forbidden by U.S. law propaganda - information, often shaped or distorted, to promote a policy, idea, or cause sod-buster – sod refers to land; a sod-buster was a somewhat derogatory term for a farmer/rancher of the American West in the 19 th Century.
Genre is a category used to identify literary and other works of art, including film. Films within a specific genre share common characteristics in content (or subject) and technique (or style of presentation).
Genre: Horror Film “The Mummy” (1932, Karl Freund, d.) Genre: Gangster Film “The Public Enemy” (1931, William A. Wellman d.) Genre: Western Film “Shane” (1953,,George Stevens d.) Three Genres, Three Movies Bills
http://www.tcm.com/tcmdb/title.jsp?stid=75587&content TypeId=130&category=trailer http://www.imdb.com/video/screenplay/vi921764121/ Screening 1A: Trailers from Two Thrillers
Narrative Elements: characters & conflict setting theme Social Issues & Historical Influences: current events social values mass audience expectations Cinematic Conventions: images soundtrack narrative structure Activity B: Three Elements of All Film Genres
Gangster Film Characters & Conflict: An ambitious and/or arrogant self-made loner vs. society and the law Setting: Modern cities or rural towns/ roadhouses, 1920s – 1930s Theme: Crime does not pay. Narrative Elements of the Western & Gangster Genres Western Film Characters & Conflict: A restless loner or idealist vs. a power-hungry bully or lawless gang Setting: American West/Southwest in the mid 19 th to early 20 th century Theme: Justice, even in the wild West, ultimately prevails.
Character type: A restless or rebellious loner Shane (George Stevens, d., 1953 ) The Searchers (John Ford, d. 1956) Narrative Elements – The Western The Virginian (Victor Fleming, d., 1929)
Setting: American West/Southwest in the mid 19 th into the 20 th Centuriy Movie Still: Stagecoach (John Ford, d., 1939)
“The Petrified Forest,” (Archie Mayo, d., 1936) “ Little Caesar” (Mervlyn LeRoy, d., 19312) “ Angels with Dirty Faces,” (Michael Curtiz, d., 1938) Narrative Elements – The Gangster Film Character type: A rebel against society
Movie Still: Little Ceasar, (Mervyn LeRoy, d., 1930) Setting: Cities or lonely road houses, 1920s - 1930s
Gangster Film Images: night scenes, deep shadows, low-key light, montages of violent actions Soundtrack: gunshots, screams, fast, punchy dialogue Narrative Structure: climatic shoot-out, criminal often dies as film ends Cinematic Conventions of the Western & Gangster Genres Western Film Images: open spaces and long-shots of the land, frontier towns, barroom brawls, high-key light Soundtrack: gunshots, horses galloping, Narrative Structure: climatic shoot- out or hero to the rescue; hero often departs at the end of the film.
Screening 1D: Film Genre, an Original SOM Mini-Documentary (approximate running time: 10:00) Add video link here.
Film Genres – Key Points Each genre has its own distinctive characteristics that include both the film’s content and cinematic conventions. Content = the film’s subject and its intended meaning. Cinematic Conventions = the film’s narrative structure and style, how the story is told Identifying a genre’s distinguishing characteristics is necessary in order to fully comprehend the story and its intended meaning. Genre is an expression of cultural values, reflecting social issues and concerns at the time the film was produced. Genres change as society changes. Often, new genres develop in response to historical and cultural events as well as technological innovations.
Lesson 2: Enrichment— Historical /Cultural Influences on Genre
Lesson 2 Glossary Gulf War Syndrome - an illness contracted by soldiers who fought in the Gulf War in 1991. GWS symptoms include headache, loss of muscle control, joint pain, birth defects, and memory problems. Great Depression – a period in American and world history when stock markets crashes, banks fell, and unemployment rose to staggering heights, resulting in many people losing their homes. Korean Conflict – a war between Communist forces in North Korea and non-Communist forces in South Korea which occurred in Korea from 1950 to 1953. Prohibition – The 18 th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, Prohibition forbade the manufacture, sale, and distribution of alcoholic beverages. Prohibition was in effect in America from 1919 to 1933.
Activity A: The Real Vs. the Reel Public Enemy Source: http://www.fbi.gov/libref/historic/famcases/dillinger/dillinger.htm FBI Mug Shot of John Dillinger
FBI’s Famous Cases: John Dillinger During the 1930s Depression, many Americans, nearly helpless against forces they didn't understand, made heroes of outlaws who took what they wanted at gunpoint. Of all the lurid desperadoes, one man, John Herbert Dillinger, came to evoke this Gangster Era, and stirred mass emotion to a degree rarely seen in this country. Dillinger, whose name once dominated the headlines, was a notorious and vicious thief. From September, 1933, until July, 1934, he and his violent gang terrorized the Midwest, killing 10 men, wounding 7 others, robbing banks and police arsenals, and staging 3 jail breaks -- killing a sheriff during one and wounding 2 guards in another.... On July 22, 1934, FBI agents put an end to John Dillinger’s reign of crime when he was shot and killed near the Biograph Theater in Chicago. Dillinger’s story has been told and retold ever since. Source: http://www.fbi.gov/libref/historic/famcases/dillinger/dillinger.htm
Editorial Cartoon—“I’ll Bury You” St. Louis Post Dispatch, 1961
Genre is not fixed. Because genre is an expression of cultural values, the genre will change as society changes. Often, new genres develop in response to historical and cultural elements. Audience Expectations: Democracy prevails. Storyline: Communism vs. Democracy, often set in Russia or China Historical Context: 1950s Cold War Era Audience Expectations: Democracy prevails. Storyline: Muslim Extremists vs. U.S. secret operatives, often set in Middle East Historical Context: 2000s War on Terrorism Spy Film Genre – Then and Now
Movie Review, 1962 With the air full of international tension, the film "The Manchurian Candidate" pops up with a rash supposition that could serve to scare some viewers half to death—that is, if they should be dupes enough to believe it, which we solemnly trust they won't. Its story of a moody young fellow who was captured by the Communists during the Korean campaign and brain-washed by them to do their bidding as a high-level assassin when he gets home to America is as wild a piece of fiction as anything Alfred Hitchcock might present, but it could agitate some grave imaginings in anxious minds these days, especially since it is directed and acted in a taut and vivid way. Presumably it was intended as a thriller with overtones of social and political satire—a deliberate double-barreled shot at the vicious practice of brain-washing, whether done by foreign militarists or by fanatical politicians working on the public here at home. That was the evident purpose of the novel of Richard Condon, on which it is based. Film review by BOSLEY CROWTHER. NEW YORK TIMES, OCTOBER 25, 1962
Movie Review, 2004 Rather than a paint-by-the-numbers remake of the 1962 John Frankenheimer film, director Jonathan Demme's 2004 version of "The Manchurian Candidate" is a re- envisioned, revamped and contemporized take on the classic political thriller...."The Manchurian Candidate" In this “The Manchurian Candidate,” U.S. Army Major Ben Marco (Denzel Washington) has terrible dreams. His nightmares involve images of events from his time spent as part of 'the lost patrol' in the Kuwaiti desert. By day, Marco remembers the heroic actions of Sergeant Raymond Shaw (Schreiber) as Shaw fought off an ambush and saved the patrol, and earned himself the Medal of Honor. By night, Marco's mind plays tricks on him and a whole slew of different and much more frightening images race through his mind. When a member of his old patrol comes to him looking disoriented, asking questions, and babbling on about his own weird dreams, Marco realizes he's not alone. He also realizes the psychiatrists are wrong: it's not Gulf War Syndrome. Something terrifying did happen during his time spent in the Kuwaiti desert. Now it's up to Marco to figure out what really happened during those unaccounted for days in the desert. http://movies.about.com/library/weekly/aamanch072904.htm