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Exploring Film Paper 1 Genre Study Content : Areas of study Study one set genre (e.g., Disaster films, Horror, Science Fiction, Crime) to change every three years (four years in the first instance).

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exploring film

Exploring Film

Paper 1

Genre Study


Areas of study

  • Study one set genre (e.g., Disaster films, Horror, Science Fiction, Crime) to change every three years (four years in the first instance).
  • Gain an awareness of the contemporary film industry (mainly Hollywood) and of the audiences for film.

Set Genre

  • The set genre for first examination in Summer 2009 and last examination in 2012 will be Disaster films.

Exploring Film (1 hour 30 minutes, 30%)

Four compulsory questions focusing on one film genre. These questions will assess knowledge and understanding of film language and key industry and audience issues. The film genre will be set by the Awarding Body and will change every three years (four years in the first instance).

  • Question 1: Response to a film extract chosen from the genre candidates have studied (questions based on film language)
  • Question 2: Response to genre elements of study, considering all aspects of film language
  • Question 3: Response to aspects of the marketing and promotion of films
  • Question 4: A series of creative tasks assessing the knowledge and understanding of films in relation to audience and industry.
why genre
Why Genre?
  • A convenient framework
  • An interesting and challenging approach
  • Room for personal response
  • As a way of exploring how films shape the way we think and feel
  • As a way of exploring the relationship between films, audiences and producers
a basic theme
A basic theme?

"The trouble with film as an art is

that it's business, and the trouble

with film as a business is that it's


- Charlton Heston

what is genre
What is Genre?
  • A simple definition of Genre – a type, or grouping of films who share similar characteristics, themes or features – its conventions.
  • A way of categorising films used by film industry and film audiences
  • A link with students existing knowledge of books, plays or music
  • A way to use film language & narrative conventionally or subversively
  • As a marketable attraction or formula
  • Exploration of the ‘typical ingredients’ of specific genres – what we have come to like and expect.
  • Focus upon; setting, themes, characters, props, narrative and plot, style
  • Consider expectations, introduce need for variations to keep the genre ‘fresh’ – encourage students to look for patterns of variation as well as repetition.
  • Begin to build a to more complex definition of genre as something that is dynamic and open to change.
  • Focus on the ways in which films mix genres.
why disaster movies
Why Disaster Movies?
  • Why not? The aim is to explore mainstream Hollywood.
  • Not a obvious genre – under used, some others are overused.
  • Contains both elements of art & industry
  • A reasonable amount of films past & present
  • Definable ‘enough’
what is a disaster movie
What is a Disaster Movie?
  • “A Disaster Movie considers the effect on people of a large scale catastrophe. This event will typically be a natural disaster or its like stimulated by the actions (or inactions) of mankind.”

Or -

  • “Does it look like a disaster movie? Does it smell like a Disaster Movie? Does it taste like a Disaster Movie? Does it feel like a disaster movie?”
channel 5 s greatest ever disaster movies
Channel 5’s Greatest Ever Disaster Movies:

1. Die Hard 11. Final Destination

2. Armageddon 12. The Rock

3. Apollo 13 13. Deep Impact

4. The Towering Inferno 14. Twister

5. The Day After Tomorrow 15. Mars Attacks

6. Con Air 16. Air Force One

7. War of the Worlds (2005) 17. King Kong (1933)

8. Speed 18. Touching the Void

9. Predator 19. Alive

10. The Poseidon Adventure 20. The Day the Earth

Stood Still

  • Compare the following 2 sequences
  • The Poseidon Adventure (1972) & Poseidon (2005)
  • ‘First pass’ basics, film language main/obvious similarities & differences
  • Can they tell us anything about the film industry / audience?
  • Practice analysis
  • A ‘jumping off’ point for whole film work -
      • Narrative
      • Representation
      • Industry
      • Audience
      • Social issues
what films can we use a chronology
The Last Days of Pompeii (Italy 1913)

Deluge (USA 1930)

San Francisco (USA 1936)

The Hurricane & In Old Chicago (USA


The Rains Came (USA 1939)

When Worlds Collide (USA 1951)

War of the Worlds (USA 1953)

A Night To Remember (UK 1958)

Airport (USA 1970), Airport 1975 (USA

1974), Airport ’77 (USA 1977), Airport

’79 (USA 1979)

The Poseidon Adventure (USA 1972)

The Towering Inferno (USA 1974)

Earthquake (USA 1974)

The Hindenburg (USA 1975)

Avalanche (USA 1978)

Meteor (USA 1979)

Airplane! (USA 1980)

The Day After (USA 1983)

Threads (UK 1983)

Alive (USA 1993)

Twister (USA 1996)

Daylight (USA 1997)

Dante’s Peak (USA 1997)

Volcano (USA 1997)

Titanic (USA 1997)

Deep Impact (USA 1998)

Armageddon (USA 1998)

The Core (USA 2003)

The Day After Tomorrow (USA 2004)

War Of The Worlds (USA 2005)

Flight 93 (2006)

World Trade Center (2006)

What films can we use?A Chronology -
how far can we go
How far can we go?
  • Look at the following sequences from The Towering Inferno (1974) & World Trade Centre (2006)
  • What questions do they raise?
  • Has The Towering Inferno changed ‘meaning’ since 2005?
exploring film questions
Exploring Film – Questions?
  • davekfairclough@yahoo.co.uk
  • Films; The Towering Inferno, The Poseidon Adventure, Earthquake, The Core, A Night To Remember, The Day After Tomorrow, Twister, Armageddon, Titanic, Deep Impact, Poseidon, World Trade Centre, United ’93, Threads, Airplane!