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Genre A2

Genre A2

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Published by: r_g_1995 on Jun 24, 2012
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What is Genre?

Genre in the media industry is a way of categorising a particular media text according to its content and style. The word genre comes from the French (and originally Latin) word for 'kind' or 'class'. The term is widely used in many ways and is commonly known to refer to a distinctive type of 'text’. Wikipedia – “is the term for any category of literature or other forms of art or
entertainment, e.g. music, whether written or spoken, audial or visual, based on some set of stylistic criteria”

What Genre theorists can you find?
Steve Neale Genres exist within the context of a set of economic relations and practices,
though he adds that genres are not the product of economic factors as such. The conditions provided by the capitalist economy account neither for the existence of the particular genres that have hitherto been produced, nor for the existence of the conventions that constitute them. Much of the pleasure of popular cinema lies in the process of “difference in repetition” – i.e. recognition of familiar elements and in the way those elements might be orchestrated in an unfamiliar fashion or in the way that unfamiliar elements might be introduced. He also believes that pleasure is derived from repetition and difference, there would be no pleasure without difference.

Rick Altman in 1984 proposed a semantic/syntactic approach to film genre. His aim was

to ‘problematise’ the discussion of genre within film studies. He recognised that the development of film studies had seen a swing from ‘genre as history’ an approach which often used the film industries’ own terms to describe how genres changed over time to ‘genre as (semiotic) theory’ an approach which largely ignored industry practices. He also argues that genres are usually defined in terms of media language (SEMANTIC elements) and codes (in the Western, for example: guns, horses, landscape, characters or even stars, like John Wayne or Clint Eastwood) or certain ideologies and narratives (SYNTACTIC elements).

What Genre theorists can you find?
Nick Lacey Repertoire of Elements; considers the repertoire of elements that work in
combination to suggest a media text belongs to a particular genre or mix of genres. He provides a useful framework to follow when analysing genre. Lacey breaks a text down into these five areas to identify the elements in each: Setting Character Narrative Iconography Style Lacey does not see genres as fixed but as dynamic and Nick Lacey changing over time.

Gunther Kress Genre is a kind of text that derives its form from the structure of a
(frequently repeated) social occasion, with its characteristic participants and their purposes.

John Fiske A representation of a car chase only makes sense in relation to all the others we
have seen - after all, we are unlikely to have experienced one in reality, and if we did, we would, according to this model, make sense of it by turning it into another text, which we would also understand intertextually, in terms of what we have seen so often on our screens. There is then a cultural knowledge of the concept 'car chase' that any one text is a prospectus for, and that it used by the viewer to decode it, and by the producer to encode it.

What Genre theorists link to the Horror genre?
Steve Neale his theory links to the Horror genre as Steve Neale believes that there is always
repetition and familiar elements are always recognised but every film in the same genre is different and the familiar elements are displayed in an unfamiliar fashion. There, Neals’s theory links in to the genre through the fact of Horror films being the same (always a villain that kills etc) just displayed and expressed in various different.

Rick Altman ”genres are usually defined in terms of media language (SEMANTIC
elements) and codes (in the Western, for example: guns, horses, landscape, characters or even stars, like John Wayne or Clint Eastwood) or certain ideologies and narratives (SYNTACTIC elements)” this relates to the Horror genre as it would always have a murder weapon, killer suspect, victim etc.

John Fiske his theory links to genre as it’s based on experience, what we are used to seeing
and our own knowledge of the concept. Horror is always displayed how its experienced by people in the world. Relating to some murders, man slaughters and genocides that have occurred in reality, that people have experienced or investigated.

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