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What is 'genre'?

A2 research into film genres
by

Isabella Milne

on 21 June 2013

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Transcript of What is 'genre'?

What is 'Genre'?
'Chick Flick' example- 'Win a date with Tad Hamilton!'
Crime drama genre
Patrick Philips (2000) says that a genre has its own ‘generic conventions’ that are ‘instantly recognisable’. So if, for example, in the beginning of a TV programme you see a police car and sirens then you know that it is a crime drama/thriller, this connotation could also serve as recognition to the audience.
The anti-ending
What does 'genre' mean?
The word ‘genre’ refers to the category in which a media text is placed due to its codes and conventions. The translation of ‘genre’ to English means ‘kind’ therefore one could say that genre is the ‘kind’ of thing that a media text is, for example with a film the genre depends on the type of film- its codes and conventions, location, plotline and characters. So if a film was set in a secondary school in America and it was about a wallflower who became popular and started going out with the most popular boy in school then realised she was in love with her best friend etc. then we would know that the genre is a teen drama which is colloquially known as a chick flick.
Hybrid genres
Some advantages of genre to the audience is that they will know what to expect when they watch a film or they read a book, however this could also be a disadvantage because people could get bored of watching or reading the same thing time after time. This would mean that institutions would have to break expectations sometimes in order to keep the audience on their toes. Sometimes film companies produce hybrid genres such as a rom-com (romantic comedy) and sometimes they have to be innovative and create something that is completely out of the box such as merging two genres which usually wouldn’t be put together such as fantasy and teen drama.
A crime drama signifier.
It has the chick flick 'formula' of the popular boy and the 'friend' who she realises shes in love with in the end
Steve Neale (1980) said that ‘films repeat themselves in different ways’ this proves that genre is all about churning out the same product with a ‘twist’. An example of this would be at the end of ‘Cruel Intentions’ when the protagonist dies instead of having a happy ending with his girlfriend, this is different to the normal formula is because it subverts to and unhappy ending when we are expecting a ‘happily ever after’.
An example of a fantasy/teen drama film- 'Twilight'
Some disadvantages to not being able to pick out a genre is that people may want to see a specific sort of film such as action and many independent films are hard to categorise, therefore this would mean that they would be less popular and therefore would make less money. However a non-genre film could be construed as a good thing in the sense that they sometimes are sleeper hits, and as they gain recognition for their odd plots they also can accumulate a cult following such as ‘Clueless’ and 'Heathers'.
Overall the genre of something follows a certain pattern or a formula to create a product which is similar to others in the category.
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