The term genre is defined as a particular type or kind of literature, music or other artistic work. Genre has key conventions that are familiar to it. Genre and conventions together create chrematistics. There are four main conventions of the action genre. The first is the characters, within this convention there are always the same type of characters such as the hero and his helpers, the villain and his henchmen and the damsel in distress.
The second is the plot. Every action film has the same basic plot. Thirdly is the location, action films are mostly set in exotic locations, extreme weather conditions, well known cities and posh hotels.The final convention is the action sequences, which include stunts, explosions, shoot outs, car chases and mild sex scenes. All four of these conventions produce a typical action film. Prototypes of modern heroes are found in ancient myths. Ancient heroes were great adventurers, travelling widely in search of excitement. Often philanderers spending a good deal of time away from their wives such as Odysseus spent a year away from his wife with Ciree.
Also, classical heroes are known for their crafty and resourceful characters. A person who used his integrity to escape from difficult situations.Heroes from ancient myths are called to action by gods to give their lives in the struggle between good and evil.
Their physical endurance is what sustains them. Hollywood with their action heroes are trying to put across positive values. The action hero acts as a role model. The positive values of the ‘modern day’ action hero are patriotism, heroism, individual determination, physical strength, physical attractiveness, self sacrifice, humour, a sense of justice/law and family life. Consider the character of Lara Croft, she has many positive values about her, yet one small thing lets her down-physical strength.
This is probably due to sexism, saying that the male is always stronger. I agree with this, a woman as a physically strong action hero just doesn’t fit the job description. However, the female action hero is known for her beauty, intelligence and individual determination. If we were to compare Lara to the prototype of a classical Greek/roman hero the similarities are practically all of the positive values, however one difference does occur and that is that she is female and has a lack of interest in the male species.
Also she is single.This is a negative value, yet she is still a hero, I think this is because she has no interest in the male species she can fight against them to look powerful and strong. Now consider the character of James Bond, an action hero that the world loves. Ian Flemming once said “I think the reason for Bond’s success is that people are looking for heroes in life today. I don’t regard James Bond as a hero but at least after great despair, he does get on to do his duty. ” James Bond has everything that people want to see in an action hero, attractive, physical strength, determination and humour.There’s a particular kind of hero who has been around since the early days of cinema. This hero is always a man who is a loner, who single-handedly wipes out corruption and evil, who doesn’t talk very much, and is hard to kill.
” I think this a very good description of an action hero like James Bond, always seems to be alone, yet is so hard to kill. I think James Bond has some negative values such as he gambles drinks, smokes (in some films) and is a womaniser, but compared to Lara Croft and her negative values James Bond is the real action hero. I believe he fits into the action hero role far better than Lara, purely because he is a man.The typical ‘action’ villian has many different characteristics, such as, alien behaviour, cowardice, herd mentality, physical weakness, ugliness, selfishness, pomposity, murder/theft, cruelty to children and communism. We are shown these in the first of our two villains-Manfred Powell. In the film ‘Tomb Raider’ the villian is shown as a cunning, sneaky man that wants no other way but his own. I think the character of Mr.
Powell does show some villian characteristics, but would not be considered as one of the worst villians due to this problem. However, the villian from ‘Goldeneye’, Alec Trevelyan, fits the typical villian perfectly.He went against James Bond and MI6 to work for the project of ‘Goldeneye’, therefore tricked 007 (James Bond) into thinking he was still 006 and worked along side him. His ugliness from his scars gives him the ‘real’ look of a villian. I have also noticed that villians seem to feel no pain, but when the hero hurts them, they do. I find this very interesting, and a good example of this is Alec. The plot of the film ‘Tomb Raider’ is about a Lara Croft who discovers something her father wanted her to, she has an exciting race against time, and evil, to fulfil the escapade.
Finally she conquers evil and saves the world. In the beginning of the sequence, a symbol on the floor fills with fluid to make the statues come alive. The statues begin to fight both Lara and Manfred, and are easily killed as they crash to the floor. Mr Powell’s sidekick, Alex, retrieves the clock and at once the biggest statue comes alive and heads straight for Lara. Lara diverts a swinging pole to send it crashing into the statue. The closing of the scene is when Lara runs off into the jungle with Mr.
Powell looking after her. In the opening sequence we see a lot of low angle close ups and high angle close ups.These camera shots are of statues that are coming alive, they use low angle close ups to make the statue seem bigger and more ferocious than it already is. Also the close up shows its ugly features and just how scary it can be.
I think using these types of shots shows an immensity of power over the human beings. The music is rather hushed yet pulsating, giving a sense of fear and anticipation. The tempo is quick with a low pitch showing suspense. I think that adding music to a certain sequence can give it that extra little bit that’s missing.The mood or atmosphere of the opening sequence is what you would call low key- it’s gloomy and dark, showing dirtiness and all round dimness. In the middle of the sequence, again there are a great number of close up shots, but tending to be higher angle than low angle. These show key characters faces or objects, such as Alex’s hand with the clock placed firmly within it.
Again this tries to make the features look bigger, therefore more appealing or frightening. Also close ups of expressions are used to show everyone the real expression that the person is showing, putting greater emphasis on it.With in the middle section there is a good example of a tracking moment from the camera, this is when Lara is shooting and running at the same time. A tracking shot at this particular time in the scene, gives the feeling as though you are running along side her, so therefore catching all the action. The music has a very sudden change from hushed into noisy, broken and furious. This is because the real fighting has begun and the pace has started to pick up. Still the pitch is low, yet there is an aggressive tone within the music, that could show anger towards the enemy.
Also we hear a little bit of dialect in this section of the sequence, and this comes from Lara in a sarcastic tone towards Mr. Powell. The atmosphere continues to be low key with the occasional flashes of gun light; I think this shows an element of surprise and mystery as they come unexpectedly. Finally in the closing sequence, we again see many close up shots, this time more low angle than high angle. The significance of the lower angle shots are so that the biggest statue appears bigger and scarier, looming over the whimpering hunters.I think that this type of camera shot, illustrates the great power trying to be put forth in the certain area of the scene. Again, close ups on expressions are used to make you feel the exact feeling they are going through. A good jump shot is used in this part of the sequence, where the camera jumps from Lara’s face to Mr.
Powell’s face then back again to Lara. This shows the difference in expression, yet the similarity in expression, they both mean the same thing, yet are expressed in two very different ways.This gets the audience interested in which one wins, or succeeds.
The music becomes hushed again towards the closing, yet still has a quick pace to make a sense of thrill and great excitement. Towards the end of the scene, the music gets louder to build up the tension, catching the interest of the viewer. The atmosphere has continued to be low key through out the whole scene, and at the very end of the closing, it suddenly becomes high key. This is when Lara comes out into daylight, I think this shows that Lara has defeated evil, and the world can become light again.In ‘GoldenEye’ one of James Bond’s fellow workers, 006, goes against him, and starts working for the enemy and GoldenEye. GoldenEye is a mysterious project, which James and his lady friend have to fight against. Eventually, after much fighting and plotting, James Bond saves the world from destruction. The certain scene that we are focusing on is where James Bond chases the General down the streets of St.
Petersburg in a tank. He crashes through an alley after the car, and then forces the police to reverse down the road. He also crashes through a lorry and a statue that rests on the top of the tank.Eventually the statue come crashing off into two police cars, at this point, Bond turns around and straightens his tie.
In the opening sequence we can see good examples of close ups, such as when they focus on the generals face. This is to show the anxiety of the general’s face and put greater emphasis on it. Jumps shots are very common in this certain sequence of the film, and the beginning, there is one from the general to Natalya then finally to Bond. This shows the variety in expressions between the three, giving mixed emotions. The music is loud and piercing, starting off pulsating then goes calm.I think this could represent the excitement and drama increasing and decreasing at certain points. It has a quick pace and a high pitch, again to show the drama and thrill of the chase. We hear some dialogue in the opening which comes from the General, with a really bossy tone.
This is to show the real anger within the General. The atmosphere is mainly high key, with some low key when the tank is crashing through buildings etc. In the middle of the sequence there is a good use of long shots, for example there is one of the tank and cars on the road.I think this shows a fullness of the chase, to show the audience the immensity of the chase.
Many tracking shots are used in this part of the sequence and one shown is the cars moving about on the streets, this shows a sense of movement, sometimes giving the audience the feeling they are in the car. The music is noisy, flowing and lively, creating the true atmosphere of the car chase; again we hear the general’s voice which is still bossy. The tone is high key but this time with no periods of low key as this part of the chase takes place on the roads alongside the river.In the closing of the sequence we see many shots such as, a few more long shots and close ups, these are of the cars and tank again, and also of specific faces. Again this shows the great detail of expression. There is a really good tracking shot where the camera goes up the statue in St.
Petersburg. I think this is to show how big the statue really is. The music is thunderous and lively with a quick and furious tempo. I think this is to show the build up for the final piece of the chase. Again we hear the Generals voice, which is really bossy.
The tone is high key again.In conclusion, I think the film that best fits the action genre is ‘GoldenEye’ featuring the action hero James Bond. I think this because he is male and physically stronger, therefore making the scene or film look correct and superior. I chose ‘GoldenEye’ over ‘Tomb Raider’ because it contains more males, and even though having a woman as an action hero is different and exciting, some how you miss the enjoyment of real physical fights.
‘GoldenEye is a better quality film because of all the aspects noted above and finally I think it is remarkable.