Action and adventure films revise

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for preparing for AQA GCSE media

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  • 1. ACTION AND ADVENTURE FILMS
    Revision session 10th May 2011
  • 2. About the exam
    13th June pm
    1 hours
    TASK 1 (A & B) 2 questions 45 minutes to do both written answers
    TASK 2 A you write about your own ideas for an Action and Adventure film
    TASK 2 B choice of 2 design tasks you do one
    45 minutes for Task 2
    You need pens, ruler, colouring pencils, eraser, sharpener, fine liner, drawing pencils all in a clear pencil case or polythene bag
  • 3. Approx 4 weeks before the exam:
    Students should be issued the brief 4 weeks prior to the examination. The 2011 brief should be issued to students on or shortly after Monday 16 May 2011. The brief will provide students with a contextualised scenario. The examination will require students to respond to four tasks in role. The tasks will be based on the contextualised scenario provided in the brief. From 16 May students are expected to consolidate their knowledge and understanding of Action Adventure films by completing independent research and preparation in response to the given brief.
    http://store.aqa.org.uk/qual/newgcse/pdf/AQA-4810-W-TRB-U01-EXTASS-2011-AAF.PDF
  • 4. Please note
    No formal teaching of the topic may take place after this date
    You have to start your research and preparation
  • 5. TASK 1 A
    Will probably ask you to explain the key features of an action and adventure film
    You should answer with examples
  • 6. key features (genre conventions) of an action and adventure film
    high concept big ideas
    Various sub genres western, Sci-Fi, historical, epic, literary adaptation, swash buckler, melodrama, war, spy, spoofs, marital arts, creature features (monsters)
    And various combinations of the above and other genres i.e. Romance, drama
    Quite often - Buddy movies
    Frequently USA and if they are frequently supportive of USA values and ideology
    America(ns) often saves the world (Independence Day, Deep Impact, Armageddon)
  • 7. In terms of media language
    Big mise en scene (location, costume, etc)
    Big fast paced scenes of action chasing, fighting, car chases, war sequences, Sci-Fi gadgets/vehicles
    Likeable, affable heroes
    Often male heroes particularly in older films
    Fast paced editing
    Action scenes use a range of shot distances and angles to add to the excitement
  • 8. Narrative
    Leitmotifs music and other clues that something is going to happen
    Joel Silverman Whammos and zingers
    - high concept, high velocity action moments followed by moments of commodity and light relief
    Vladimir Propp studied lots of folk stories/fairy tales and decided that they all have stock characters and stories
    Popular films are fairy tales/folk stories in the modern sense and many follow these rules
  • 9. PROPPS STOCK CHARACTERS
    HERO
    VILLAIN
    PRINCESS TO RESCUE
    BLOCKER
    HELPER
    MENTOR
    DISPATCHER
  • 10. Narrative
    Another theorist was TzvetanTodorov who also studied stories and also stated that stories have similarities
    At its most basic stories have a three part narrative equilibrium, complication, return to equilibrium
    Hollywood film writers have used these structuralism theories to write film stories
  • 11. Narrative
    Christopher Voglers books:
    The Heros Journey
    The Writers Journey
    Based on Joseph Campbells study of myth
    Are Bibles for film (and videogame) writers
  • 12. narrative
    It is not surprising then when we say that many action films are predicable and that we dont find them too difficult or demanding to watch
    Cultural theorist Theodor Adorno said that popular culture was formulaic and repetitive
    The same thing with variations over and over
  • 13. Modern films
    Play with the narrative structure to make them more interesting (and less obvious) to a sophisticated audience
    However, many conform still to a formulaic structure
  • 14. Task 1 B
    Likely to be about representation
    Criticisms of the way people are represented in this genre include
    Stereotypical and negative representation of foreigners
    Villains are sometimes English!
    Women are there for their looks and to be rescued
  • 15. Action heroes are typically
    Male
    White
    But dont forget the martial arts hero!
    Hard bodied and muscular
    Young(ish)
    Heterosexual
    macho
  • 16. Foreigners /non wasps are
    Villains
    Sometimes helpers but not as bright as the main hero
    Sometimes part of a buddy partnership
  • 17. Case study: Will Smith in Men in Black
    Wills character is the physical, slightly crazy undisciplined one compare to Tommy Lee Jones who is the mature, intellectual one
    Tommy Lee Jones character is in charge and has to teach the ropes to Will Smiths.
  • 18. However,
    This is changing, Morgan Freeman was the president in Independence Day
    Who will play Obama when we get a film about the hunt for Bin Laden?
  • 19. women
    Laura Mulvey said the women are used in mainstream media for their looked at ness
    Eye candy!
    It is true that we do get female action heroes
    But they are also objectified as sexual beings too
  • 20. female protagonist or eye candy?
  • 21. female protagonist or eye candy?
  • 22. female protagonist or eye candy?
  • 23. female protagonist or eye candy?
  • 24. Marion Ravenswood in Raiders
    To start with she seems like a feisty, tough girl but soon in the narrative she has to be rescued and before long the story has her in a white girly dress and quite helpless...
  • 25. Also to consider
    Representation by absence
  • 26. Also consider
    Representation of:
    Places
    Eras/times
    Ideas
  • 27. Task 2 A
    This is your turn to start thinking about your film ideas
    Will you follow all the old rules and conventions even if theyre predictable and stereotypical or will you try need ideas or will you use a combination of old and new ideas?
  • 28. You should:
    Refer to film theory about narrative
    Discuss how you intend to represent people, things, places, times, ideas
    Where will the ideas come from?
    Where will they go?
    Books, videogames
    Synergy one idea over two or more media i.e. : Pokmon: The Movie 2000