Monday, 6 October 2008

Understanding Film Genre

What are Film Genres?

Film genres are various forms or identifiable types, categories, classifications or groups of films that are recurring and have similar, familiar or instantly-recognizable patterns, syntax, filmic techniques or conventions - that include one or more of the following: settings (and props), content and subject matter, themes, period, plot, central narrative events, motifs, styles, structures, situations, recurring icons (e.g., six-guns and ten-gallon hats in Westerns), stock characters (or characterizations), and stars. Many films straddle several film genres.

Contrasting Types of Films



The Main Film Genres

These are some of the most common and identifiable film genre categories: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Crime/Gangster, Drama, Epics/Historical, Horror, Musicals, Science Fiction, War, & Westerns.

By the end of the silent era, many of the main genres were established: the melodrama, the western, the horror film, comedies, and action-adventure films (from swashbucklers to war movies). Musicals were inaugurated with the era of the Talkies, and the genre of science-fiction films wasn't generally popularized until the 1950s. One problem with genre films is that they can become stale, cliché-ridden, and over-imitated. A traditional genre that has been reinterpreted, challenged, or subjected to scrutiny may be termed revisionist. There are obvious Genre Biases in the Selection of Best Picture Oscar Winners by AMPAS (Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences).

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