Feed on

Pondering Paratexts

My final paper was about DVD bonus features and I did a lot of research about paratexts, but I ended up summarizing it without a whole lot of discussion in the paper.  So, I thought I’d raise a question here:  where is the line between text and paratext for movies?  This question comes from a specific list of paratexts for books offered by Jonathan Gray, summarizing Gerard Genette that includes covers, title pages, typesetting, paper, and goes on to name many, many more.  What is the cinematic equivalent for these elements within a movie? The cover and title page neatly correspond with the title sequence or perhaps the movie poster, but typesetting and paper are very much within the book.  The cinematic equivalents that I’m coming up with—film stock or maybe color palate—cannot be paratexts, these are formal choices.  I guess typesetting is sort of a formal choice for a writer, but it affects the meaning of the words as a paratext, whereas the look of a film is all the film itself.  This relates back to issues we discussed with regard to Mittell’s article in the Cambridge Companion book, about how visual media must fix things in ways that books do not, so written texts are experienced more variably.  I don’t have an answer to my own question, I’m just wondering…

Leave a Reply

Sites DOT MiddleburyThe Middlebury site network.