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Steve Neale's Theory of Repetition & Difference
Transcript of Steve Neale's Theory of Repetition & Difference
What He Said:
"Genres are instances of repetition and difference"
"Difference is absolutely essential to the economy of genre"
What That Means:
Steve Neale is saying that a film and it's genre is defined by two things:
How much it conforms with a genre's stereotypes and conventions.
He says that a film must conform to these conventions enough that it can still qualify and be identified as a film of that genre.
How much a film subverts the genre's stereotypes and conventions.
He says that a film must subvert these conventions enough that it is still viewed as a unique film, not just a clone.
Example of Conforming:
Example of Subverting
Summary of Examples:
The Paranormal Activity trailer shows subversion of horror convention as it is set in just a regular house. This is uncommon for the genre as they usually pick a 'spooky' location such as an old manor or abandoned location. This is strange for the genre as it actually places the audience in a relatable location rather than a place of mystery.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre trailer shows conformation of horror convention as it is set in an abandoned house that has been inherited from a elder relative. This is very much standard of the genre as places the audience in a mysterious and unfamiliar environment.