Media Theory Revision Guide

"...essential for all media students"

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





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Kiss of the Vampire

Hermeneutic codes


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To entice would-be cinemagoers to watch the film, the KOTV poster deploys teasing hermeneutics. The high eyeline of the lead vampire suggests authority yet his upwards stare to an unknown danger prompts the audience to question what might be positioning this figure of authority to be so fearful. 

On the right hand side of the screen the male who looks upward to the lead female vampire offers himself in a highly submissive way; again, prompting the audience to question how and why he has become so powerless.

Enigma codes

The deliberate use of an element within a product to create mystery or tease the audience to read/watch further

Media terminology used

Eye line position and power

Barthes argues that subtle image based affects can create big ideological affects. Placing eyelines for example above high up in a frame can make a character look more powerful. Placing eyelines lower down creates vulnerability.

Gesture codes

Gestures codes refer to a highly stylised set of body actions that relate specific coded meanings to a reader. A thumbs up gesture for instance means 'I'm okay' - holding our hands in the air suggests submission.

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Media Theory for A Level
The Essential Revision Guide