Rick Altman

Posted: October 26, 2012 in Uncategorized

in Altman’s book, he has proposed what he calls the ‘semantic/syntactic approach. Semantic – this is concerned with the conventions of the genre that communicate to the audience such as characters, locations, props, music, shooting style and other signifiers. E.g. in a western film, we would expect to see: horses, guns, hats, wilderness, Native Americans, etc. The syntactic aspect of his proposal is concerned with the relations between these elements and the structure of narratives in genres. E.g. in a romantic comedy we expect the potential lovers to begin by not liking each other. There are then a series of meetings/problems (enigmas) which culminate in their successful relationship


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