Genre means type
“Die Hard is a generic action film because it
uses action props such as guns and the
narrative contains many fight scenes between
hero and villain”
When you see things you expect to see in any
type of film, lets say a horror, you seeing
You recognise that a film is GENERIC
because of the sheer number of times you
have seen this genre of film use these
How to identify generic
You are looking for:
Typical narratives (storylines): structure of the
Typical Micro elements:
Typical themes: good vs. evil/crime and
punishment/ achieving goals etc
Lets use the horror genre
Make a mental list of al the things you expect to
see in this genre
You have just listed the GENERIC
CONVENTIONS of the Horror Genre
Some films are not simply a HORROR or a
They seem to use generic conventions from a
number of different genres
These are called HYBRIDS
Shaun of the Dead: Romantic, Zombie, Comedy
Can you think of others?
Typical or Challenging
You can normally prove that a film is GENERIC
by giving Micro element examples
But sometimes, films do these you don‟t expect
that genre to do
This is called challenging conventions
It is good for films to do things that audiences
don‟t expect, it stops the films from becoming
repetitive and boring
It is important that you can find things that a film
does that you didn‟t expect. Don‟t just ignore
these examples, tell us about them.
select texts on basis of genre, often because texts
are arranged at retail outlets by genre (just look at
how dvds are categorised on amazon). Also, certain
genres are considered appropriate to certain
ages/genders in society, and choices are made
accordingly eg teen movie, 'chick flicks'
Market and publicise films according to genre
because they know they will reach genre fans
Will see what genres have done well at the
cinema and try to repeat that success by making
films of the same genre
Categorising films by genre is seen
as both positive and negative.
On one hand, conforming to generic conventions
and giving the audience what they want, can
actually lead to the "they're all the same"
This is what happened to the traditional
Hollywood Western and Musical – because some
films were success, other studios started to churn
out lots and lots of them, the audience got bored
and stopped watching.
It is now only when a „new‟ Musical that
challenges the typical generic conventions
(Moulin Rouge or Sweeney Todd) comes out, that
audiences are willing to watch.
On the other hand, genre provides structure
which can allow a great deal of creativity,
especially when a genuine reworking of generic
conventions comes along
Genre provides key elements for an audience to
recognise, so that they may enjoy the film and be
Genre allows for expectations to be met, resulting
in a more fulfilled audience.
A particular slide catching your eye?
Clipping is a handy way to collect important slides you want to go back to later.