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FA7036 - Notes on Genre Seminar

January 18, 2016

MA Notes on Genre (One Story, Many Contexts)

Title Sequence from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966):

  • Sound effects suggest America. Shooting. Urban life.

  • It’s a Western, a suggested by the silhouettes of the horses.

  • The red background colour suggests blood, as supported by the sound of gunshots.

  • Clint Eastwood’s face is painted with a brush (just two tones), followed by the rest of the stars.

  • The title appears in 3 ‘stages’, with each section of it ‘shot’ out.

  • There is a ‘smoky’ effect and stills, which suggests nostalgia – WHY???

  • There is a faster pace towards the end, with tension building and still images of the environments and cast appearing more rapidly.

Trailer from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966):

  • Lots of gunfire from cannons and quickly edited shots, starting with Clint Eastwood lighting one with his cigarette.

  • More bad than good comes across. It evokes danger and the Civil War.

  • The hero’s journey comes across – Clint Eastwood is the hero.

  • Short bursts in the narration – straight to the point!

 

Title Sequence from Star Wars (1977):

  • The music evokes nostalgia – WHY???

  • It is a slow opening, with lots of words to read, disappearing off into space.

  • Despite all the fighting we are introduced to companionship straight away.

  • There is the classic ‘damsel in distress’ and we are introduced to the villain almost immediately.

  • The hero is nowhere to be seen, but from the content and way it is shot we know there will be one.

Trailer from Star Wars (1977):

  • Again, there is lots of shooting and fighting, suggesting there is a hero and villain.

  • It demonstrates a combination of old fashioned clothing with futuristic technology.

 

Title Sequence from Wall-E (2008):

  • The song suggest nostalgia and happiness – and good times – WHY??? It’s an old musical song.

  • This is juxtaposed with desolate environments and drab browns and greys.

  • There are echoes as the song fades out – very nostalgic and eerie at the same time.

  • The hero is the only sign of life.

  • Brown suggests urban life but also sepia tones, evoking nostalgic and a ‘lost era’, which is exactly what this represents.

 

Trailer from Wall-E (2008):

  • Feels very ‘empty’, suggesting the hero’s loneliness but inquisitive characterisation.

  • Again, very brown and desolate except for when he goes into space, where things brighten up for him and the audience!

 

Opening from Batman Begins (2005):

  • A ‘nice’ opening with Bruce (‘young’ Batman) playing with a girl until we come to a reality, finding out it was a dream, and witnessing the brutality of the hero’s situation.

  • There is an uneasy feel from the start, with swarms of bats flying through the air and the haunting sound effects of them squealing.

Trailer from Batman Begins (2005):

  • There is a lot in this trailer; the hero certainly goes on a long and ever-changing journey and the trailer makes us want to follow it. There are a variety of environments and characters, and the hero’s appearance changes throughout.

 

Notes on fairy tales (TWITW is actually a traditional fairy tale adventure)

  • “Fairy tales are perfectly suited to helping a child with the traumas of growing up…”

  • “By presenting solutions to these situations, the fairy tale provides a child with a model for coping with his or her fears.”

 

Leitmotifs

  • Spaghetti Westerns in particular draw upon musical leitmotifs and a theme tune.

  • These include the harmonica, whistling, church bell, Latin American trumpet, guitar, Native American Indian pan flute, drum and chant.

  • These very human sounds reinforce the context and emote a deeper universal sense of raw humanity, getting back in touch with the forces of nature, and evoke a feeling of nostalgia in the audience.

 

Words from the proposed feature film trailer from Weta (that never got made):

“IN ANOTHER WORLD WHEN ALL IS LOST

ALL THAT IS LEFT

IS TO REBUILD

THERE IS A CLASSIC STORY TOLD THAT IS NOW COMING TO LIFE

BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE CREATIVE TEAM OF LORD OF THE RINGS AND KING KONG

FROM KENNETH GRAHAME’S BELOVED NOVEL

RG ENTERTAINMENT LTD. PRESENTS

THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS

COMING SOON”

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