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Transcript of Genre: Thriller/Crime
The themes within crime fiction are often that the antagonist is against the protagonist and they're constantly fighting trying to catch each other out. The antagonist is often found stealing, shooting or starting some sort of conflict between people. The protagonist tends to try to find clues in order to catch out the antagonist so that they can protect the rest of the people in the area from the character that is known as 'the baddy'. There tends to be classic themes of good versus bad and the evil of humanity such as in the film Se7en. A lot of the time in crime fiction films, the protagonist always results in the better half of the situation and the antagonist is caught whether it be by the hero or by other people within the film- perhaps friends of the protagonist or people working for them. It tends to happen that the character that the audience are in favor of always result in the best happening to them in order to keep the audience happy and following their 'favourite' characters within the film.
The Mise-en-scene within a film is important, it shows the costume, make-up, lighting and camera angles. These are the elements that essentially make a film. Often within crime and thriller films, the lighting is dark creating a mysterious atmosphere for the audience. This is created by the use of back-lighting as it makes the characters silhouette visible however, not their face or features. Another way that is used to create a mysterious and uncomfortable atmosphere is costume. The 'villain' character is often wearing the colour black to signify the dark character and that they are evil and suspicious. Red can also be used to reflect this. As shown on the front cover of the film 'Nightcrawler' the character evident is clearly the villain within the film. This is evident by the choice of costume that they're presented wearing.
Make-up is another way to show the emotions and the characteristics of characters. Shading within make-up can often be used to emphasize certain parts of the characters face such as the eyes. Eyes are a very important part of the face as they can portray emotions evidently therefore make-up is often used to emphasize them and make them stand out sufficiently.
Cinematography is all about the different types of shots used within the film. Common shots that are often used within crime fiction films are: close-up, so that the emotions on the characters face are easily seen and analysed. This is also the same with objects, close-up shots are used with objects so that there is emphasis on any detail on the object or if it is a key part of the scene/film. Over-the-shoulder shots are also often used to show the point of view of the character, it puts the audience in their shoes therefore they can see the same thing as the character. It gives them a different perspective and outlook on what's happening within the scene. This is beneficial for the audience as they're able feel emotional for the character because of the cinematography (shots). Partially framed shots, such as lead space and slow pans, create tension within the scene as they can help create the sense of mystery and dread. In the film Se7en, low-angles make the city seem remarkable and constricting.
Crime fiction is 'the literary genre that fictionalizes crimes, their detections, criminals and their motives.' -Wikipedia. Crime fiction is the cross between the genres crime and thriller. It demonstrates the similarities between the two and how they can relate and compliment each other as genres.
Crime fiction has sub-genres such as: detective fiction, courtroom drama, hard-boiled fiction and legal thrillers. Suspense is a key element of crime fiction. Crime and thrillers always have something suspicious within them therefore crime fiction also has this element to it. There is often a structure to a crime fiction film which is as followed: firstly, there is a crime which is often a murder, there is then an investigation that takes place, then finally the outcome or judgement of the story which often results in the criminal being arrested or dying.
In our group, we chose this genre because it has a simple structure to it which can be easy to adapt or follow. Also, it is a very different genre to what is known as 'normal' therefore it can be fun to interpret and work with together.
Choosing the setting for your crime fiction film is important. The setting must reflect the story, the character and the crime. If the wrong setting is chosen, it may be difficult for the audience to understand the crime and the story in general. A lot of films tend to use dark places such as the street or an old abandoned place. In a film called 'Crime Fiction', the trailer shows a woman lying on the floor in a dark street surrounded by blood coming from her head. The dark street setting reflects on the story because it shows that a murder has happen at night which suggests that nobody would have seen the murder happen or who the murderer was. This is often the same case in crime/thriller films as it creates the mysterious vibe throughout the film suggesting that the murder could really be anybody.
Films that have the genre, or sub-genre, of crime tend to include three types of characters. These types of characters are: the ones who solve the crime (detective/policeman), the ones who commit the crime (murder/criminal) and the victim (the one who got murdered/attacked). It is important that these types of characters are evident because it will support the story line and will make it easy for the audience to understand the plot.
One film that shows these types of characters well is 22 Jump Street. The detectives are the characters Schmidt and Jenko, the victim is a girl called Cynthia, who was never evident within the film, and the one who committed the crime was kept a secret throughout the whole film. This means that the audience were constantly on the edge of their seats and were left guessing who the drug dealer was. Although this type of character was unknown until the end of the film, it was known to the audience that there was a criminal therefore they were able to follow the film accordingly.
The sound for crime and thriller films often ranges from gun shots to police sirens to background music. The police sirens are used to create the feeling that something bad is possibly happening or about to happen. This will put the audience on edge and constantly wonder what's happening. The gun shots also create this feeling for the audience. As the audience have become to know the characters, they begin to feel worried about who the gun shots are coming from and who they're aimed at. This makes the audience feel worried and scared. The emotional attachment between the audience and the characters creates this. The background music is often used to create tension or to set the mood for the scene. The background music can often cause the same emotions for the audience as any sound effects can.
In crime movies, it is familiar that there is a protagonist and an antagonist. The protagonist is the good person within the film and the antagonist is the bad person however, in heist crime fiction we're often aligned with the perpetrators of the scene for example, in films like: Now You See Me and Ocean's Eleven. In these films, we're supposed to like the antagonist, the robber which is then known as the protagonist. In the film Now You See Me, the protagonists are the criminals pulling off the robberies. Although, they are also magicians who rob banks during their performance. This is the opposite in tone to the brooding detective based films such as Se7en. In the film Se7en, the narrative is typical, with two cops trying to solve a series of linked crimes, tracking down an antagonist that has a personal interest in them. In this film, we (as the audience) are supposed to, and are led onto, liking the 'good people' within the film whereas in Now You See Me, it's the opposite.
The difference between the narrative of the two films is that the audience are directed towards liking different types of people whether this be the protagonist or the original antagonist. A lot of the time, the audience are drawn towards liking the hero of the film whereas in films such as Now You See Me and Ocean's Eleven this is not the case.
The ideologies within crime fiction films are that there tend to be high moments of tension, dramas and more thrill and the obvious, crimes. In the film Se7en, there are evident ideologies such as: having a clear difference between good and bad and that all evil will be punished - until the end. This is in favor of the audience because throughout the film, they will likely want the antagonist to have some sort of consequence for their evil actions therefore the audience will be kept happy because of the punishment.
The film Silence of the Lambs, in terms of setting, supports the conventions of typical suburban settings. This helps to develop the ideology that evil is within our society and does not dwell somewhere far away. This is evident throughout the whole film as the audience are constantly recognized with bad/evil matters within the story and may be left feeling emotional towards the characters and the lives that they are having to live. Ideologies can often reflect on the audience and possibly make them learn something from them, for example morals. A lot of the time in comedy and romance films, the morals are to be learned from and taken into account.
The editing of the film is very important, it tends to determine how the audience view the characters as well as the film. Editing that is often used in crime fiction films is the use of fast paced editing. This is generally used when a chase scene is happening, the scene will be made to look a lot faster than it originally was so that the audience are taken on the same adventure as the characters in the chase. This is effective for the audience as they're able to feel in the moment and involved with the film. This then contrasts with the slower shots of characters walking. The slow paced pans will contrast with the fast paced shots becauase they both have a different effect on the audience as they tend to show different things within the scene and also different emotions.