Media Theory Revision Guide

All A level theorists covered alongside revision summaries and exam practise exercises.




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Kiss of the Vampire

Proairetic codes


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The melodramatic poses of the four characters depicted in the film poster all convey a clear sense of the kind of action and spectacle the film offers its readers. Barthes suggests that these depictions are proairetic in nature - using action codes to convey excitement. 

The lead vampire, who recoils from an unknown danger injects fear and a sense of suspense into the scene. The action of the swooning blonde at the left of the frame tells the audience that the film will contain romance or possibly sexual content. The action of the bats swirling around the pyramid composition of the four characters inserts a sense of pursuit and menace into the scene.

A 1960s audience would be highly familiar with the dramatic poses constructed - using their contextual film knowledge to decode the meanings listed above to pre-empt the narrative content of KOTV.

Proairetic codes

Are 'action' based elements within a media text. Proairetic codes create excitement and produce moments of emotional intensity in stories.

Media terminology used

Pyramid composition

A film marketing design technique that places a cast in a triangular shaped composition. Character positioning relates to their importance in the narrative.

Pleasure of spectacle


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