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Barry Keith Grant

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Title: Barry Keith Grant


1
Barry Keith Grants "Approaching Film Genre
  • Presenter
  • Jason Ward

1/15
2
A 300-word Summary 1/5
  • Approaching Film Genre states that genre
    criticism did not start with film but rather
    Aristotles distinction between comedy and
    tragedy. Grant describes how genre films are
    criticized for being lowbrow, formulaic,
    mass-produced, conservative and oppressive, but
    also express the spirit of the age and can be
    read as representing sites of ideological
    struggle. He describes the evolution of film
    genres as part of the Hollywood industrial
    system, which sought to maximize profits for
    minimum risk.

2/15
3
A 300-word Summary 2/4
  • This production line process lead to repeated
    character traits, story lines, setting, objects
    and props that could be used interchangeably like
    machine parts. From the beginning, certain types
    of films were grouped together by producers and
    audiences. Because of the systematic and
    collective way in which it was produced, film
    emerged as a truly communal art form.

3/15
4
A 300-word Summary 3/5
  • The setting, stories, themes, and even the
    believability of a film are all determined by
    genre, as are its iconography. Icons are
    described as objects or characters within films
    which gain meanings from their repeated use
    across many different films. Grant explores the
    significance of iconography to express meaning
    within the film and across different cultures.

4/15
5
A 300-word Summary 4/5
  • Through iconic casting genre films give the
    audience what they expect by casting an actor
    renowned for playing good guys as a hero or can
    subvert this expectation by having him/her play
    against type as a villain. A films iconography
    might also extend to a genre films
    characteristic use of mise en scene or tone, its
    recognizable attitude, or predictable conclusion.

5/15
6
A 300-word Summary 5/5
  • Grant also problematizes the ways in which a
    certain film might be considered a particular
    genre and looking at Noir considers the argument
    that, despite the frequent use of similar
    iconography, plots, protagonists, and ideology,
    it might not be a genre but rather a style that
    can appear across many genres.

6/15
7
Discussion Question 1 Genre films have been
dismissed as industrial products of capitalist
economy, do you think this is true and does this
mean they are no longer works of art that are
worthy of study?
  • I agree that most films are industrial products
    of capitalism because films are made to make
    money. However, I do not think we should dismiss
    a film as a lesser work of art because of how it
    was made or even how it turned out. All films
    are worthy of study because of how they shape our
    reality and what this says about us in various
    times and places. Furthermore, the distinction
    between high and low art reflects the outdated
    prejudices of the previous century when the
    unwashed masses went to the pictures or music
    halls, while the educated upper-classes read
    books or went to the theatre

7/15
8
Discussion Question 2 Do you agree with the
argument that Noir is a style rather than a
genre? Why / Why not?
  • I think it could be regarded as both. There are
    enough distinctly Noir films to convincingly
    argue that there was definitely a Film Noir
    period from 1941 until 1958. However, aspects of
    the Film Noir style do appear, even now, in films
    that are not really Noir such as Mullholland
    Drive (2001) or Sin City (2005).

8/15
9
Discussion Question 3 Grant lists the
iconography of the western, vampire film and
gangster movie. What would you consider the
iconography of a Rom-Com?
  • A couple who start off hating each other
  • Beautiful locations
  • Fashionable music and clothes
  • A clownish or cynical man and a repressed or
    troubled woman
  • A love triangle
  • A wedding
  • A love rival
  • A best friend
  • Restaurants
  • References to other romantic comedies

9/15
10
MCQ 1 Why did the motion-picture industry move
to Hollywood?
  • Cheap labour and land and better locations and
    weather
  • Most of the original studio owners and producers
    already lived there
  • It was closer to Pacific and therefore easier to
    reach the Asian market

10/15
11
MCQ 1 Why did the motion-picture industry move
to Hollywood?
  • Cheap labour and land and better locations and
    weather
  • Most of the original studio owners and producers
    already lived there
  • It was closer to Pacific and therefore easier to
    reach the Asian market

11/15
12
MCQ 2 In which type of film from the 1950s did
the hero typically combine masculine prowess with
technology to win the elderly scientists lovely
assistant or daughter?
  • The western
  • Sci-fi
  • The rom-com

12/15
13
MCQ 2 In which type of film from the 1950s did
the hero typically combine masculine prowess with
technology to win the elderly scientists lovely
assistant or daughter?
  • The western
  • Sci-fi
  • The rom-com

13/15
14
MCQ 3 What is Bordwells argument about Film
Noir?
  • It is an overrated genre because of a couple of
    great films but most Noirs are formulaic and
    dull.
  • It is not a genre but a style. You dont choose
    to make or see a Noir film like you would a
    Western.
  • It encourages immorality because of its typical
    subjects murder, theft and betrayal.

14/15
15
MCQ 3 What is Bordwells argument about Film
Noir?
  • It is an overrated genre because of a couple of
    great films but most Noirs are formulaic and
    dull.
  • It is not a genre but a style. You dont choose
    to make or see a Noir film like you would a
    Western.
  • It encourages immorality because of its typical
    subjects murder, theft and betrayal.

15/15
16
Thank you!
  • Any Questions?
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