Thursday, 12 March 2009

Some More 'Genre Theory' courtesy of my old mate 'The Mr B' at Hurtwood

Uploaded on authorSTREAM by hurtwoodhousemedia

Genre Key Concepts:

Repetition – the conventions and proven success
Difference – how these are used (& innovated on)

Organising concepts

Genres of Order:
Issues of law, contestation over space, individualism v society, explicit conflict (violence), lone hero (masculine)

Genres of Integration:
Issues of belonging, contestation over status, individual differences played against social norms, implicit conflict (melodrama), couple (domestic or romantic)

Genre of order – monsters are outside the law & must be destroyed

Can be very clearcut conventions (“rules”) & iconographies
numerous subgenres  successful formulae copies – often literary models) eg vampire, zombie, slasher

Deep issues around self/other: sexuality, body, difference, compulsion, punishment, regeneration/degeneration
& strong fantasies: sadistic/masochistic, of the body
“Monsters of the Id” (Robin Wood)

Genre characterised by specific cycles - often from specific studios (Universal, Hammer), or at specific conjunctures (50s space invasion ¬ Cold War fears; 80s slashers ¬ feminism)

1. of characters (against Other)
2. of audience (against representations of horrors & explicitness of violence)
3. of realism – emphasising power of the Other, represented often through SFX

Basis of film spectatorship in voyeurism: forbidden things
(= childish aggressive, misogynistic, sadistic & dehumanising fantasies)
Coping with body changes (ie body as Other) ® teen interest
Laughter as shortcircuiting embarrassment (& masculine bonding)
Strong fan base (as often relating to non-mainstream films) – connoisseurship (secret things/cultural capital)


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