Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Once Upon A Time In America + Snakes On A Plane research; Femme Fatale

Thriller is a broad genre of literature, film, and television programming that uses suspense, tension and excitement as the main elements. Thrillers heavily stimulate the viewer's moods giving them a high level of anticipation, ultra-heightened expectation, uncertainty, surprise, anxiety and/or terror. Thriller films tend to be adrenaline-rushing, gritty, rousing and fast-paced. Literary devices such as red herrings, plot twists and cliffhangers are used extensively. A thriller is a villain-driven plot, whereby he or she presents obstacles that the protagonist must overcome and these two films are example of the Thriller genre.

Once Upon A Time In America

A former Prohibition-era Jewish gangster returns to Brooklyn over 30 years later, where he once again must confront the ghosts and regrets of his old life.
This film is of the 'Thriller' genre because it is a film that consists of 'egde of the seat' moments and also means there is never a monotonous moment in the film. By watching this trailer we can see that it makes you want to watch more of it and it would also make you go out and watch it as part of an audience at a cinema. Despite the fact this trailer is the 'old' one, we can establish that it still makes you want to watch on to find out what would happen during the film.

'Once Upon A Time In America' is set in 1930's Brooklyn and is based on the prohibition period between 1920 and 1933.
The aim for a thriller like this is to keep the audience alert and on the edge of their seats. The protagonist in these films is set against a problem – an escape, a mission, or a mystery. No matter what sub-genre a thriller film falls into, it will emphasize the danger that the protagonist faces. The tension with the main problem is built on throughout the film and leads to a highly stressful climax. The cover-up of important information from the viewer, and fight and chase scenes are common methods in all of the thriller subgenres, although each subgenre has its own unique characteristics and methods and these are shown in 'Once Upon A Time In America'.
For example, the beginning of this film starts with the 'Dim Lighting' of a room which creates a sense of uncertainty which can also be known as 'Noir Lighting'

Snakes On A Plane
In this film, an FBI agent takes on a plane full of deadly and poisonous snakes, deliberately released to kill a witness being flown from Honolulu to Los Angeles to testify against a mob boss. This introduction instantly appeals to the genre of 'Thriller' and makes you want to know more about this film and want to watch it once it has been released to public viewing and we can see the 'edge of the seat' moments from this trailor. 'Snakes On A Plane' takes place on a Aeroplane on it's way to the LA. Instantly the fact the setting is in a confined space; makes it more believeable and gives the actors/actresses 'No where to hide'. It has something happening at every given moment which makes you 'glued' to your television and wanting the characters to survive so we are always on the edge of our seats.
'Femme Fatale'
In other words 'Fatal female' or 'devient female' which symbolises a mysterious and seductive woman whose charms and ensnare her lovers in bonds of irresistible desire, often leading them into compromising, dangerous, and deadly situations. It is also common for the 'Femme Fatale' to be with the enemy; for example the 'Femme Fatale' and the gangstar, as seen in Gilda' and this clip:

This shows she has a sense of deviousness about her as she attempts to charm and seduce to viewing crowd using her 'Femme Fatale'.


  1. A promising start to your research into the thriller genre and well done for uploading video clips. I am phobic about snakes so I didn't see "Snakes on a Plane"!!!!

  2. You identify the generic importance of location in Snakes on a Plane". This is an extreme example of the use of the generic convention of a claustrophobic space.