The Categories of Swordplay Genre Analysis


Yu-Chai, Lai


genre analysis, image languages, swordplay, swordsman’s culture


Genre analysis of moving image is an important topic in recent years. From 1980’s, several scholars, such as Sobchack, Berger, Hansen and Neale, put their emphasis on the new area. Especially, Hansen has mentioned categories of western genre, which modified from Cawelti’s categories .In Hansen’s system, the analysis of genre film can divide into 2 parts, including visual conventions and narrative conventions.

In this way, we can find the framework of genre analysis. But does the categories suit to swordplay genre? If we want to modify Hansen’s model, how can we modify it to suit to the grammar of swordplay’s image languages?

In this article, the author hypothesizes that ‘swordsman’ is the basic element in swordplay genre, therefore, we can identify whether is the swordplay or not. From the swordsman’s culture, the author modifies the categories of genre analysis mentioned by Hansen. The article not only modifies traditional framework of genre analysis to suit to swordplay genre, but also adds two new categories, convention actions (Kung-Fu) and river-and-lake (locations and settings) to produce new model of genre analysis.