Research methodologies in film studies

 

Leach uses Bob Ellis an Australian filmmaker as an example to show on what extend Hollywood has affected the Australian culture. The ‘Body Snatcher’ is Ellis’s product that Leach used as an example to draw the attention to the paranoid perspective without simply endorsing it or rejecting it. With few words he is emphasizing the connection he is trying to make between physical and spiritual elements. In order to give a greater perspective on this Leach brings the example of Cronenberg in by analyzing his film The Fly and how the body passes through several changes.

This of course is something that extends to the treatment of science and the body. With few words what Leach is trying to do is to view the aspect and the changes of the meaning Genre, by presenting a specific sub-genre which is horror and human fear, by using examples some films of Cronenberg, who emphasized the specific genre with the use special effects, spiritual embodiments, scientific improvements and many more.

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So instead of taking genre as one meaning and analyse it by viewing facts that did affected its process, as Neale did, he concentrates on one specific genre and shows the affects that the genre itself / a film has in the society. Leach concentrates mostly on the Canadian cinema / society and the changes that it went through during the last decade and he totally rejects the values of America middle class. Due to this he wrote a new article that he divided in three stages. The first stage is about Small Budgets, films of 1960’s, which adapted the techniques of the National Film Boards’ ‘direct cinema’, documentaries.

Leach here presents the third principal of genre in contrast with Neale that he presented the first one (Narrative). The second stage regards Canadian genre films, based on 1970’s, films that involve ‘declarations of impotence’ as the characters fail to match up to their generic models. The third and last stage involves Hollywood North Films of 1974, encouraged by the Capital Cost Allowance Act, which concealed Canadian origins in order to appeal to international audiences.

According Leach American genres are themselves marginalized in Egoyan’s playful treatment of the intersection of ethnic heritage and modern communications technology in films like ‘Family Viewing’ and ‘Speaking Parts’. With few words Leach as well sets external factors that can affect genres such as technological advance but he doesn’t as such focus on norms and expectations as Neale does. Elsaesser with his article differentiates by taking himself as well a specific kind of genre as an example to set out his point only a total different one from Leach.

The genre he chooses to analyze is the Melodrama. He describes Melodrama throughout different countries such as England, France, Germany, and Italy and later in America and that differentiates him from the other two who based their studies for the genre on Hollywood and Canada. Elsaesser uses Melodrama in order to emphasize ideological aspects that this involves. A genre such as the Melodrama can have ideological affects to the greater audience. According Elsaesser Melodrama brings out the inner violence and the energy of the actors, which is all inside them and cannot break through.

He sets Melodramatic Imagination into two directions, one of which has to do with different artistic norms and the other with different epochs. Focused on the American area as in one point only so as to analyze aesthetics, as Neal have written about as well. Elseasser states that ideologically if speech and dialogue lost some of their semantic importance in favor of their aspects as sound, then conversely lighting composition a di?? cor increase their semantic and systematic contribution to aesthetic effect.

With few words he himself combines ideology and aesthetics only that he does concentrate to the fact that there are various ideological effects that genre can have, hence the example of films based on melodrama. This by Elseaster is the justification for giving critical importance to the mise en scene over intellectual content or story value. As long as ideology is concerned American ideology is established as spectacular because it is essentially dramatic and not conceptual. The creation that the spectator can identify with and recognize is based on the conscious or the unconscious level.

This depends on the aspects of the iconography and on the quality of the orchestration for what are popular mythological experiences and plot structures. He also sets as an example Freud’s explanation for dreams linked to melodrama. Certain gestures and incidents of a dream mean something by their specific set out and structure rather than by what they literally represent, the melodrama often works by a displaced emphasis, by substitute acts, by parallel situations and metaphoric connections.

Elsaesser emphasizes also the fact that melodrama often uses Middle American society based on family experiences, stereotyped situations in strange configurations that actually provoke other classes. On this point we see that Elsaesser argues with Leach who totally rejects the values of American middle class. One thing according Elsaesser that makes melodrama special and effective is that there are plenty of discontinuities such as emotions that rise and suddenly fall. (Words 1055)

BIBLIOGRAPHY: Elsaesser T.(1995) Tales of Sound and Fury: Observations on theFamily Melodrama In: Grant B. K. , Film Genre Reader II, Austin, University of Texas Press, pp. 350-380 Hayward S. , (2000) Cinema Studies: The Key Concepts, London and New York, Routledge Leach J. (1995) North of Pittsburgh: Genre and NationalCinema fron a Canadian Perspective In: Grant B. K. , (1995) Film Genre Reader II, Austin, University of Texas Press, pp. 474-493 Neale S. (1995) Question of Genre In: Grant B. K. , Film Genre Reader II, Austin, University of Texas Press, pp. 159-183 2 Exeter University Emmanuel George Mavros.

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