In Daniel Chandler’s “Introduction to Genre Theory” (see link in sidebar), he provides a list of questions for students to use in analysing an individual genre text.
Here is a PDF version of the questions: diy-generic-analysis. (Control-Click or right-click to download.)
Your task is to choose a genre text (as close to the Hrrrrr [or horror] genre as possible, though, since that’s what we’re studying) and prepare a presentation consisting of:
- a short excerpt of the film (10 minutes or so)
- a handout full of interesting notes and facts (1 side of A4)
- a talk based upon the questions in the PDF (you don’t have to answer all of them, but do answer as many as you can), being sure to give an overview of the historical context. The talk should last at least 10 minutes. You can of course use Keynote/Powerpoint – but marks will be deducted for comic sans
You can work in pairs on the same text*, but both parties should attempt responses to the questions (which should, after all, be different).
In terms of context, I would expect to learn something about the date of release; box office success/failure (see the link to Box Office Mojo, right); previous/later instalments in the same cycle; if any; critical reception (reviews, articles); and anything else you can think of!
What this homework is for
1. The class will view/discuss a wide variety of genre texts, with notes, which will help with exam preparation
2. It’s good practice to become familiar with an analytical framework (the DIY analysis), which you can apply to any film you see – increasing the variety of texts you can refer to in exams etc.
3. Think of this as a mini project in preparation for your independent research coursework.
4. It’s essential to get away from what the exam board call “common sense” responses to texts, and one way of doing this is to use a framework such as this.
We’re not going to be able to fit these in before the end of the year, so this is a summer holiday project, but get started now and you won’t have to be doing it at midnight on 31st August.
Post any questions as comments.
*When I say genre text, I mean anything that could be classified as genre, so if you have horror games, or graphic novels etc., that would be fine. I’d also like to see TV episodes (X Files, Buffy, Supernatural etc.) being analysed.