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Codes and Conventions

SNSM

Pick your

Genre questions
'Most texts today mix genres.'
How true is this of your three
main texts?. [30]
To what extent are your chosen
texts typical of their genre? [30]
How do your chosen texts use
genre conventions? [30]
How do your chosen texts
reinforce or challenge genre
conventions? [30]

Introduction
Opening paragraphs. See handbook
Introduce key texts
Define any key terms in the question showing your
understanding of what the question requires
- What is genre?
- Why important?
- Specifics to question eg. 'Most texts today mix genres.'
How true is this of your three main texts?. [30] talk
about 'difference is absolutely essential to the economy
of genre': mere repetition would not attract an audience
Steve Neale theory
- so the mix of genre documentary (free cinema) for
SNSM

Why are genres important?


Audiences

Producers

Distributors

Why is genre important for ...


Audience
Although genres are not always precisely definable, genre considerations are
one of the most important factors in determining what audiences will see
or read.
The classification properties of genre can attract or repel potential users
depending on the individual's understanding of a genre.
Genre creates an expectation in the minds of its audience and may fail or
succeed depending on if that expectation is met or not. Inversely, audiences
may call out for change in a genre and create an entirely new genre.
Producers of media texts?
Gives a pattern for construction, a template
Genre pieces have an established audience who are easy to market to
Certain personnel can develop their skills working within a particular genre (e.g.
horror make up specialists)
Stars can associate themselves with a particular genre e.g. Will Ferrell is known
for a certain type of slapstick comedy, and his face on a poster instantly tells
audiences what kind of movie they are likely to see if he is in it.
Fans of a genre know the codes, so you don't have to reinvent the wheel all the
time
Distributors?
Clear channels for marketing and distribution easily targetable audience
Concentration of distribution resources no point in trying to get eg football
matches to a non-sports audience
Fans of a genre as a whole can easily be persuaded to buy other texts in the

Genre Theory
Daniel Chandler: Conventional definitions of genres tend to
be based on the notion that they constitute particular
conventions of content (such as themes or settings) and/or form
(including structure and style) which are shared by the texts which
are regarded as belonging to them.
It is easy to underplay the differences within a genre. Steve Neale
declares that 'genres are instances of repetition and
difference' (Neale 1980, 48). He adds that 'difference is
absolutely essential to the economy of genre': mere
repetition would not attract an audience. Texts often exhibit
the conventions of more than one genre.
John Hartley notes that 'the same text can belong to different
genres in different countries or times' (O'Sullivan et al. 1994).
contemporary theory emphasizes that both their forms and
functions are dynamic. David Buckingham argues that 'genre is
not... simply given by the culture: rather, it is in a constant process
of negotiation and change' (Buckingham 1993).

Audience and genre


Steve Neale argues that pleasure is derived from
'repetition and difference' (Neale 1980); there
would be no pleasure without difference.
We may derive pleasure from observing how the
conventions of the genre are manipulated
(Abercrombie 1996). We may also enjoy the
stretching of a genre in new directions and the
consequent shifting of our expectations.
http://www.slideshare.net/HeworthMedia/genretheory

So in order to gain higher marks you need to


link additional information to your textual
analysis historical or industry or audience or
genre

social realist films employed stylistic


conventions seen within documentaries
more often than not influenced byideological
beliefs and attitudes of the time
explore the reality of the working class through
their living conditions, language and
aspirations all of which examined
thechanging nature of society and ultimately
paved the way for the era of the British new
wave film genre(Christopher, 1999:83)
'Most texts today mix genres.'
How true is this of your three

How do your chosen texts


reinforce or challenge genre
conventions? [30]

Free Cinema (Documentary style)


distinctive aesthetic consequence of
three main factors:
a conscious decision to take their
cameras out of the studios and into the
streets in order to engage with the reality
of contemporary Britain
the extremely limited funds at the
filmmakers' disposal
and the technology available
Free Cinema advocated and developed a
genuine 'aesthetic of economy'
'Most texts today mix genres.'
How true is this of your three
main texts?. [30]

The 'angry young men'


Free Cinema must also to be understood as an early
manifestation of a wider cultural movement, which
also included a new breed of writers who began to
challenge the existing social and cultural order.
AYM focused on lower-middle-class and workingclass life and were savagely critical of the
institutions of English society.
Recognise Free Cinema's significant role in the
apprenticeship of filmmakers who made a
major contribution to the flowering of 'social
realist' cinema in the late 1950s and early
1960s.
'Most texts today mix genres.'
How true is this of your three
main texts?. [30]

Linking info - Industry

The booming sounds of the heavy


machinery in the opening scene and
Arthursrugged and grubby
appearance completely defines the
film as a working class
film.Through the use
ofvoiceover,Arthur surveys his
work colleagues and bemoans that
they are ground down and want to
get on in their job.Arthur refuses to
be ground down by the establishment
in which he says dont let the
bastards grind you down and Id
like to see anybody try to grind
me down. Thatd be the day.
What Im out for is a good time.
All the rest is propaganda.This
issymbolised duringArthurs
night out at the beginningof the
film when he wins a drinking contest

Use of
Sound.

HW
Try to write up as essay pick a question
45mins each industryso how much time for
each film? 15mins!!! +extra 5 for
intro/conclusion
Intro
Main x 3 points (textual analysis) eg.
Location shooting, voiceover, abortion theme
(all SR conventions)
Conclusion