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Genre and Narrative Essay

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Introduction

Genre and Narrative Essay "Blade" If the genre is to be defined strictly, a genuine thriller is a film that pursues a single-minded goal - to provide thrills and keep the audience cliff-hanging at the 'edge of their seats' as the plot builds towards a climax. The tension usually arises when the main character(s) is placed in a menacing situation or mystery, or an escape or dangerous mission from which escape seems impossible. Life itself is threatened, usually because the principal character is unsuspecting or unknowingly involved in a dangerous or potentially deadly situation. Plots of thrillers involve characters which come into conflict with each other or with outside forces - the menace is sometimes abstract or shadowy. The closest relation to the thriller genre is the horror film genre, also designed to create tension and suspense; the earlier horror genre films were Gothic style set in shadowy locales and included super-natural creatures ranging from vampires, devils, ghosts and demented madmen. The director of Blade; Stephen Norrington has really captured the essence of the thriller genre. The opening sequence of Blade is typical of the thriller genre; as soon as the film starts we have the black background and the red writing fading in and out really slowly. The black and red have connotations of blood, death, violence etc and the slowly fading of the writing making it slow, making the whole atmosphere uncomfortable. The fact there is no music or noise, just silence makes it very eerie, and seems to make the audience wait for something to jump out at them. ...read more.

Middle

The fast-forwarding also indicates to the audience that, in way, we are going into the future and the story narrative is structured linearly. The first characters we meet are in a car; driving extremely fast putting these two characters in a dangerous or potentially deadly situation. Throughout this sequence we get many hints towards the typical features of a thriller movie. The woman in the car has deep red hair and the man is wearing a red coat. Most of their costumes are black (death, despair, danger, blood). The camera keeps moving and jerking really quickly, which is disorientating and adds to the abnormal atmosphere. When they are driving she grabs his privates rather viciously, so we already get the element of violence and bloodshed. We also get the aspect of sex coming across and maybe even sadism, as even though he reacts to the pain, it's not exactly negative; giving the characters a darker and sinister edge. The other interesting thing is, even though nothing seems to be happening in this scene, and nothing "bad" in particular seems to be going on, I wouldn't class it as equilibrium, because of all insinuations and warnings in the mise en scene. The main characters are then seen in a meat carver factory. This isn't the usual place to see two people who are looking for a good night out. Plus, the fact they are completely surrounded by corpse and dead animals gives portend of massacre, death, blood etc. It also has quite an uncomfortable edge to the atmosphere and again, builds that suspense and anxiety. ...read more.

Conclusion

And there is no way out; therefore the audience is right on the edge of the seat, trying to see a way for him to get out of this. Then again, the pace shifts again to slow motion, everything slows down again, the music and blood stop and we see the boots of Blade. He is also dressed in black and wearing glasses, making him also seem in-human and emotionless. This is also a feature we see in the Sci-fi genre, the glasses to give the character that sense of mystery, and the black costume to show a darker side. We see his feet first then the camera tilts upwards to a low angle shot which gives him the image of a powerful being. When he starts the violence and massacre of the vampires (also another aspect of a thriller) he doesn't just use guns, he uses close contact weapons like the silver stakes. This is a typical convention of the very closely linked horror genre, so that the killer and the victim have to be close making it uncomfortable. It also entwines the super-natural features of the genre by using these weapons. Blade has many typical conventions of a thriller genre and narrative, but also I also like the way Stephen Norrington uses aspects of Sci-fi and Film Noir; it gives everything that quirky edge and it opens the overall film to a wider audience. By using the sex and a very obvious setting for a slaughter, the use of black and the PVC costumes gives the sequence that extra essence of danger. ?? ?? ?? ?? Faith Austin AS Film Studies ...read more.

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