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Encyclopedia > Cinematic genre

In film theory, genre refers to the primary method of (commercial) film categorization. A "genre" generally refers to films that share similarities in the narrative elements from which they are constructed. Film theory debates the essence of the cinema and provides conceptual frameworks for analyzing, among other things, the film image, narrative structure, the function of film artists, the relationship of film to reality, and the film spectators position in the cinematic experience. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...

Contents

Categorizing film genres

Three main types are often used to categorize film genres; setting, mood, and format. The film's location is defined as the setting. The emotional charge carried throughout the film is known as its mood. The film may also have been shot using particular equipment or be presented in a specific manner, or format. Setting in literature is the locale and time that serves as the backdrop to short stories, novels, dramas and screenplays. ... Mood may refer to: chese Grammatical mood Emotional mood This is a disambiguation page, a list of pages that otherwise might share the same title. ... Film is a term that encompasses motion pictures as individual projects, as well as the field in general. ...


Setting

  • Crime - places its character within realm of criminal activity
  • Film noir - portrays its principal characters in a nihilistic and existentialist realm or manner
  • Historical - taking place in the past
  • Science fiction - placement of characters in an alternative reality, typically in the future or in space
  • Sports - sporting events and locations pertaining to a given sport
  • War - battlefields and locations pertaining to a time of war
  • Westerns - colonial period to modern era of the western United States

This still from The Big Combo (1955) demonstrates the visual style of film noir at its most extreme. ... Gods death or nonexistence is a quintessential nihilistic concern. ... Existentialism is a philosophical movement emphasizing individualism, individual freedom, and subjectivity. ... The historical drama is a film genre in which stories are based more or less accurately upon historical events and famous persons. ... Poster for The Day the Earth Stood Still, an archetypal science fiction film Science fiction has been a film genre since the earliest days of cinema. ... The war film is a film genre that has to do with warfare, usually focusing on naval, air, or land battles, but sometimes focusing instead on prisoners of war, covert operations, military training, or other related subjects. ... Justus D. Barnes, from The Great Train Robbery The Western is one of the classic American literary and film genres. ...

Mood

  • Action - generally involves a moral interplay between "good" and "bad" played out through violence or physical force
  • Adventure - involving danger, risk, and/or chance, often with a high degree of fantasy.
  • Comedy - intended to provoke laughter
  • Drama - mainly focuses on character development
  • Fantasy - speculative fiction outside reality (i.e. myth, legend)
  • Horror - intended to provoke fear in audience
  • Mystery - the progression from the unknown to the known by discovering and solving a series of clues
  • Romance - dwelling on the elements of romantic love
  • Thrillers - intended to provoke excitement and/or nervous tension into audience

Action movies usually involve a fairly straightforward story of good guys versus bad guys, where most disputes are resolved by using physical force. ... The quintessential adventure film. ... Airplane! is considered by some critics to be one of the funniest movies of all time. ... A drama film is a film that depends mostly on in-depth character development, interaction, and highly emotional themes. ... In theory fantasy films are films with fantastic themes, usually involving magic or exotic fantasy worlds, as distinct from science fiction films or horror films. ... DVD cover showing horror characters as depicted by Universal Studios. ... Mystery film is a film genre which uses mystery as an element to the plot. ... The romance film has as its central plot the beginning, obstruction and eventual, though often tragic, fruition of a romance. ... Romantic love is a form of love that is often regarded as different from mere needs driven by sexual desire, or lust. ... Thriller films are movies that primarily use action and suspense to engage the audience. ...

Age

  • Children's film — films for young children; as opposed to a family film, no special effort is made to make the film attractive for other audiences.
  • Family film — intended to be attractive for people of all ages and suitable for viewing by a young audience. Examples of this are Disney films.
  • Adult film — intended to be viewed only by an adult audience, content may include violence, disturbing themes, obscene language, or explicit sexual behavior. Adult film may also be used as a synonym for pornographic film.

A childrens film is a film for young children. ... A family film is a film genre that, like a childrens film, is suitable for young children, but with the difference that a family film has been carefully written, directed, cast and acted so that it will appeal to all members of a typical family (or if not typical... A family film is a film genre that, like a childrens film, is suitable for young children, but with the difference that a family film has been carefully written, directed, cast and acted so that it will appeal to all members of a typical family (or if not typical... Pornographic movies appeared shortly after the creation of the movie technology that made them possible. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...

Criticisms of film genres

What genres are not

There are other methods of dividing films into groups besides genre. For example auteur critics group films according to their directors. Some groupings may be casually described as genres but this definition is questionable. For example, independent films are sometimes discussed as if they are a genre, but in fact independent production does not determine a film's storyline, and they can belong to any genre. The term auteur (French for author) is used to describe film directors (or, more rarely, producers or writers) who are considered to have a distinctive, recognizable vision, because they (a) repeatedly return to the same subject matter, (b) habitually address a particular psychological or moral theme, (c) employ a recurring... An independent film (or indie film) is a film initially produced without financing or distribution from a major movie studio. ...


Some have argued that genre needs to be distinguished from film style. A film's style concerns the choices made about cinematography, editing, and sound, and a particular style can be applied to any genre. Whereas film genres identify the manifest content of film, film styles identify the manner by which any given film's genre(s) is/are rendered for the screen. Style may be determined by plot structure, scenic design, lighting, cinematography, acting, and other intentional artistic components of the finished film product. Others argue that this distinction is too simplistic, since some genres are primarily recognizable by their styles. Many historians debate whether film noir truly is a genre rather than a style of film-making often emulated in the period's heyday. Cinematography, English render of the French cimématographie, is the discipline of making lighting and camera choices when recording photographic images for the cinema. ... Editing is the process of preparing language, images, or sound for presentation through correction, condensation, organization, and other modifications. ... Sound is a disturbance of mechanical energy that propagates through matter as a wave. ... This still from The Big Combo (1955) demonstrates the visual style of film noir at its most extreme. ...


Are film genres definable?

A genre is always a vague term with no fixed boundaries. Many works also cross into multiple genres. In this respect film theorist Robert Stam has noted: Film theory debates the essence of the cinema and provides conceptual frameworks for analyzing, among other things, the film image, narrative structure, the function of film artists, the relationship of film to reality, and the film spectators position in the cinematic experience. ...

A number of perennial doubts plague genre theory. Are genres really 'out there' in the world, or are they merely the constructions of analysts? Is there a finite taxonomy of genres or are they in principle infinite? Are genres timeless Platonic essences or ephemeral, time-bound entities? Are genres culture-bound or trans-cultural?... Should genre analysis be descriptive or prescriptive?


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While some genres are based on story content (the war film), other are borrowed from literature (comedy, melodrama) or from other media (the musical). Some are performer-based (the Astaire-Rogers films) or budget-based (blockbusters), while others are based on artistic status (the art film), racial identity (Black cinema), location (the Western) or sexual orientation (Queer cinema). (Robert Stam 2000, 14).

Many genres have built in audiences and corresponding publications that support them, such as magazines and websites. Films that are difficult to categorize into a genre are often less successful. As such, film genres are also useful in areas of marketing, criticism and consumption. An audience is a group of people who participate in and experience or encounter a work of art, literature, theatre, music or academics in any medium. ... The examples and perspective in this article or section may not represent a worldwide view. ... Marketing is a social and managerial function that attempts to create, expand and maintain a collection of customers. ... A critic (derived from the ancient Greek word krites meaning a judge) is a person who offers a value judgement or an interpretation. ... In Keynesian economics consumption refers to personal consumption expenditure, i. ...


John Truby, Hollywood story consultant states that "...you have to know how to transcend the forms [genres] so you can give the audience a sense of originality and surprise."[1] Some screenwriters use genre as a means of determining what kind of plot or content to put into a screenplay. They may study films of specific genres to find examples. This is a way that some screenwriters are able to copy elements of successful movies and pass them off in a new screenplay. It is likely that such screenplays fall short in originality. As Truby says, "Writers know enough to write a genre script but they haven’t twisted the story beats of that genre in such a way that it gives an original face to it."[2] John Truby is a screenwriter, director and screenwriting teacher. ... Screenwriters, scenarists or script writers, are authors who write the screenplays from which movies and television programs are made. ... A screenplay or script is a blueprint for producing a motion picture. ...


It makes sense for writers to defy the elements found in past works and come up with something different or opposite to what's been done before. Originality and surprise are the elements that make for good movie stories. For example, spaghetti westerns are known to have turned the western film genre upside down by making the good guy be bad as well as good. Prior to them, westerns had what are now considered genre clichés, like good guys wearing white hats, bad guys wearing black hats, and the good guy always beating the bad guy in a shootout. The cliché western disappeared after the spaghetti westerns broke the "rules" of the genre. Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... From the Greek , in mythology and folklore, a hero (male) or heroine (female). ...


See also

Look up genre in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Genre studies are a structuralist approach to literary criticism, film criticism, and other cultural criticism. ... Film theory debates the essence of the cinema and provides conceptual frameworks for analyzing, among other things, the film image, narrative structure, the function of film artists, the relationship of film to reality, and the film spectators position in the cinematic experience. ... Fictional film or narrative film uses chronological reality to tell a fictional story. ... Here is a structured list of movie lists: // By year By letter List of films: numbers List of films: A-D List of films: E-I List of films: J-R List of films: S-Z By genre List of comedy films List of United States comedy films List of...

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Category:Cinema

  Results from FactBites:
 
Cinematic genre - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (947 words)
A "genre" generally refers to films that share similarities in the narrative elements from which they are constructed.
Many historians debate whether film noir truly is a genre rather than a style of film-making often emulated in the period's heyday.
As such, film genres are also useful in areas of marketing, criticism and consumption.
Genre - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (628 words)
A genre is a division of a particular form of art or utterance according to criteria particular to that form.
Genres are formed by sets of conventions, and many works cross into multiple genres by way of borrowing and recombining these conventions.
In genre studies the concept of genre is not compared to originality.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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