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Film Genre

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on 14 October 2013

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Transcript of Film Genre

Film Genre
Genre is originally french meaning kind or type
Genres change over time, as filmmakers invent new twists on old formulas
Defining a Genre
Some genres stand out by their subjects or themes
Some genres are recognized by their manner of presentation and some by their distinctive emotional effect
A genre is easier to recognize than to define
but no genre can be defined in a single hard way
Sub-genres can be devised by critics, viewers, or filmmakers to try and describe more precisely what films are like
An audience's sense of classification can change
Genres and sub-genres are used to make decisions
Genre Conventions
Genre conventions are what gives films some type of common identity that reappear in film after film
Conventional genres- we anticipate investigation in mystery films, revenge in westerns, and musicals always include song and dance
Thematic genres-general meanings that are summoned again and again.
Film techniques are also used as genre conventions
Genre Conventions
Iconography consists of recurring symbolic images that carry meaning from film to film
Objects and settings often furnish iconography for a genre. Even stars can become iconographic--Judy Garland for the Musical, Clint Eastwood for the Western, and Arnold Schwarzenegger for the action picture
Genre History
Genres are tightly bound to cultural factors. They reaffirm cultural values with little variation
genre conventions arouse emotion by touching on deep social uncertainties but then channel those emotions into approved attitudes
Genres may also respond quickly to broad social trends
Genres harmonize with public attitudes
Ways of looking at genre are usually called reflectionist, because they assume that genres reflect social attitudes
The Western
based on historical reality with mirrored blend of realism and myth
well established by the early 1900s
the central theme became conflict between civilized order and the lawless frontier
costumes become the same throughout each film
The hero always tends to be in an in between position.
The Western
conventional scenes: Indians attack the forts and wagons of the Westerners, the shy courting woman of the rough hewn hero, the heroes discovery of a burned settlers cabin, outlaws robbery of stagecoach or banks, gunfights, etc.
Narrative and thematic innovation: Westerns have racist stereotypes of Native Americans and Hispanics throughout films but starting in the 50s, Indians were treated with more respect. In the 70s thematic values were reversed; depicting Indian life as civilized and the white society as marauding
The Horror
most recognizable by its intended emotional effect on the audience
The genres emotional effect is usually created by a character convention: a threatening, unnatural monster
plot usually begins with the monsters attack on normal life, followed by when the other characters must discover the monster and destroy it. This can happen gradually or very quickly throughout the film
this genre stems from the intended response of the audience.
The Horror
costume plays a big role in this genre: heavy makeup to alter the face of the actors
came out in the 1920s and the early works were German
Creates its emotional impact with makeup and other low technology special effects, because of this, horror films have been favored by low budget filmmakers
horror films have sustained an audience for over 30 years
The Musical
At first many musicals were revues, programs of numbers with little or no narrative linkage between them
Two plot patterns of the musical emerged during the 30s: Backstage musical and Straight musical
In both Backstage and Straight musicals the numbers are usually associated with romance
The Musical
Most musicals are associated with children stories but adult orientated musicals have taken on somber, tragic material.
While they explore the dark side of human nature, they tend to accentuate the positive
In order to show patterns formed by the dancers in musicals, crane shots and high angles are common
It seems a genre never dies. It may pass out of fashion for a time, only to return in updated garb
True or False :
Loyalty to one's teacher in Hong Kong martial art films is an example of a thematic genre
Which of the following is an example of conventional scenes in Westerns
A) Indians attack on forts or wagons
B)The outlaws robbery of bank of stage-coach
C)Gun fights
D)All of the above are examples
Which of the following is an example of a straight musical?
A)42nd Street
B)High School Musical
C)Singing in the rain
D)What's love Got to Do with it?
Popularity with Slasher horror films in the 70s reflects social concerns about the breakup of American families.
Horror films rely heavily on an audience's reaction
Which of the following is an example of a type of genre convention?
C)Song and dance in musicals
D) make-up

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