genre & narrative theory

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Genre & Narrative Theory

Genre & Narrative TheoryAlice Ward

Genre is a practical way of creating a film, for people to understand.

Steve McQuail

Steve Nealegenre is a repetition with an underlying pattern of variations.

Steve Neale stated that genres have 5 terms of which your film could fit under, theseinclude:Form Finding ItselfClassicStretching BoundariesParody (A satirical film against a film that already exists).Homage (Out of respect of an unfortunate event, for example a patriotic American film for the 9/11).

How does this link to Lunar Productions film: Crows Field?In my opinion, our horror genre trailer/ film would typically fit in the classic facet ofSteve Neales theory of 5 key terms. This is because we have researched plenty ofprevious horror films and make links as to how we can involve the best features ofother scary film; to make ours match the genre (as its a difficult genre to make animpact). As a production group we have had to explore the features of a classic horrorfilm and how they have developed from the classics to still go on to remain scary.Therefore ours is modern by still on the classical lines.

Steve NealeDifference is absolutely essential to the economy of genre.

Robert stanstereotypical minefield.Robert Stan stated that genres are made up by critics and theorists, and possibly afilm is just a film no matter what atmosphere or collection of features it has.

I disagree to this, because without genres as a title then production companies wouldfind it hard to construct such in-depth films but still stay within the lines of certainfeelings throughout their film. There is a reason a horror film remains and isconsistently a horror film all through the duration of the film. This is because it fitsunder a genre and its been given a framework that brings together mise-en-scene. Ithink that not only is a genre a good framework to help production companies but itsa good framework to enable an audience to choose to view a certain film, so theyknow what theyre getting themselves into as such.

Rick AltmanRick Altman said that within genres there are two steps or two choices:Semantic Elements: An example for a thriller may be the guns, urban landscapes, victims, stalkers Therefore the collection of props etc. within the film that create such an umbrella term of a genre.Syntactic Elements: This includes the themes, plots arranging together to create a genre. However this is much harder to read.I think that both of these are crucial steps to creating a genre, also if these both were concepts that were brought together as one whole theory or one whole step then Rick Altman would have explained the notion and point of a genre, ultimately. Looking more into his theory, Crows Field uses the semantic elements of an autumn rural landscape, female-fragile victims, a witch that stalks the lives of these victims. And for the Syntactic the theme of curiosity and mysteriousness adds to our horror genre.

Narrative theory

a story should have a beginning, a middle and an end, but not necessarily in that order.

jean luc Goddard

Claude Levi-StraussStudied myths and legends.Narrative theories have a framework of binary opposites:Example: Good Vs. Evil.

Crows Field has this aspect to a certain extent as we have an turned evil spirit against a vulnerable, fragile and innocent young lady who is a nave student who just wants to explore new boundaries for her aspiring mind. This is a basic example of Good Vs. Evil: and is very clearly shown; but it could be contrasted that the witch was once a victim and still could be; she is just consistently misunderstood, this is where the curiosity and mystery comes from for the horror genre.

Tzvetan todorovStudied Russian tales.Stated that a narrative frame follows three parts, which include:Equilibrium, Disequilibrium, Resolution.This is to explained as if there is a lighter part to a story, then it gets darker and more tense (so to speak, when linking to the horror genre) and then of course the understood Resolution.Lunar Productions definitely has these narrative concepts and ours follows this specific chronological order of lighter and more joyous themes for the beginning, and a part where it grows in tension as Mia Summers (our victim/ journalist) gets more into her investigation. And the resolution of finding out about the witch. However our plot finishes as Mia Summers goes missing, which brings conflict to this narrative theory so wouldnt count as much, in comparison with other narrative theories.

Vladimir ProppStudied folk tales.Based around the characters within the movie/ script/ storyline:This may include: VillainsDispatcher (makes task known)Prized characterPropps theory links well with Lunar Productions narrative. Crows Field holds a villain and a dispatcher (in this case Brooke Evans), but also the prize is also the villain, as Mia is in search of her story and proof of her reality for Brooke and her studies. Once again a contrast and conflict.

Ronan BarthesRonan Barthes said that a narrative theory includes 5 steps,/ codes these are:Hermeneutic Code: mystery (full truth held back).This also includes: Snares (truth deliberately held back), Equivocation (Partial/ Incomplete answers), Jamming (No answer).Proairetic Code: tension.Example: a gun is drawn, what will the resolution be?Symbolic: what are you using to create meaning?Example: Props, Binary Opposites (Linking to Strauss)Semantic: Additional Meaning by connotation.Cultural: Share knowledge on how the world worksAs this is more into depth and detail as to what exactly is part of the narrative, including all aspects and facets. I would use this theory to explain our plot and horror trailer/ movie. Crows Field can use all these term and from this theory we can look more into the meanings f each step to develop our movie during production (it is the most helpful theory).