Wednesday, 12 January 2011

The main film magazines in the UK...

The main UK films magazines are; Empire, Total Film and Sight and Sound, they have the greatest distribution and are accessable to nearly everyone. Independant cinemas aim to meet the likes of Niche audiences in the UK, such magazines as Little White Lies and Electric sheep are examples of these. Another type of film magazine well known in the UK is the in house cinema magazine, found in various cinemas such as the Odeon, Vue cinema and cineworld. All of these film magazines may share something in common; that they are full of information on films, however their style, layout, content and mode of address can all be largely diffrentiated.

Empire and Total film are quite similar magazines, their glossy style with colourful pictures and bold titles make them look very much alike. Both magazines look mainly at big budget holywood films that are due for release in mainstream cinemas, with some independent film reviews. The general layout of their articles is a block heading in San Serif to catch the eyes of viewers, with a large picture taking up many of the columns. This large photo will tend to be a clip from the film showing the main stars in action, the purpose of the picture is to draw the attention of the viewers and sway them into reading the article. The content of Empire and Total Film articles generally aim to promote the film, speaking in a formal yet chatty tone to the reader, it relates the film to other well known films and although it has an objective balance usually it sums the article up in a positive way. In house magazines such as Cineworld have a similar layout with a large picture, bold title and columns; however the mode of address is very informal and chatty. The reviews on films are biased as they are promoting the film so that people are attracted to the film. The audience for this magazine is cinema goers looking for a direction on what film to see whereas Total Film and Empire are aimed at people who are generally interested in film, they like to know all about the latest and upcoming films so seek expert opinions on them, their reviews are not so biased, they may include a breakout box with a verdict of the film and a star rating but generally these articles aim to promote the film so do not reflect greatly on the downside of the film.

Sight and Sound magazine looks at cinema and film as an art, meeting the likes of educated middle class, open-minded audiences; their articles are in-depth and detailed with a very well structured style. Unlike cineworld magazine, Sight and Sound does not just review mainstream big budget upcoming films, they like to review independent films, or global films. Total Film and Empire do look at independant film however not as in-depth as Sight and Sound. Sight and Sound articles have a very busy layout with many columns and at times a picture. Their mode of address is formal, with a dry attempt to bring humour to the article. Their articles are well structured with an introduction on themes, synopsis, commentry on the director, an objective balance, wider academic context and then bringing the article to a closure. This detailed structure is not like that of Total Film or Empire which may only look at the themes, synopsis, the narrative structure and objective balance. Sight and Sound is produced by the British Film Institute (BFI), they aim to not only inform their audiences of upcoming films yet to educate them on the art of film and how such narrative and themes are unique, through their expert film reviewers opinions on films which they have widely researched into, to meet the likes of the target audience.

Little White Lies and Electric Sheep are two examples of UK independent cinema magazines, they are very different magazines to the others I have looked at. They aim to meet the likes of niche audiences- independant cinema goers who want to find out about independant film directors and a range of cultural films coming to Independant cinemas. The Electric Sheep magazine says that "The magazine is for lovers of offbeat, left-field and cult cinema. Celebrating the the celluloid dreams of the most outlandish, provocative and visionary directors, the marginal and the transgressive, the poetic and the punk". Even when just looking at the covers of Electric sheep and Little White lies the unique style and strange magazine names suggest their magazines are aimed at a very specific audience; the comic look of Little White Lies shows that it is not an oridnary glossy magazine you would find in a shop, it is diverse and the type you would find in a cultural independant cinema. Unlike Empire which focuses on the mainstrean celebrity films and the dour academic tones of Sight and Sound, these independant cinema based magazines articles are eccentric, intelligent and informative with a real love for cinema and the world of film.

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