- Narrative versus style: Effect of genre-typical events versus genre-typical filmic realizations on film viewers’ genre recognition
- Volume | Issue number
- 36 | 4
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR)
This study investigated whether film viewers recognize four basic genres (comic, drama, action and nonfiction) on the basis of genre-typical event cues or of genre-typical filmic realization cues of events. Event cues are similar to the narrative content of a film sequence, while filmic realization cues are similar to stylistic surface cues of a film sequence. It was predicted that genre recognition of short film fragments is cued more by filmic realization cues than by event cues. The results showed that: (a) filmic realization was the stronger cue in viewers’ genre recognition, except for drama recognition; (b) the influence of a genre-typical event on genre recognition decreased stepwise from drama to action to comic to nonfiction. The latter result is explained in terms of specific genre characteristics. The former result is consistent with a conception of memory for film that acknowledges the role of media-specific mental representations. It is suggested viewers possess a specific genre knowledge embodied in visual simulators that in most cases is dominant over genre knowledge embodied in event simulators, at least in a task requiring genre classification of film fragments lasting up to 24 s.
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