Genre Sophie Turner
Definition • The word genre comes from the French (and originally Latin) word for 'kind' or 'class'. The term is widely used in rhetoric, literary theory, media theory, and more recently linguistics, to refer to a distinctive typeof text.
Christian Metz • Christian Metz in his book "Language and Cinema" (1974) explored the development of genre in film and suggested that genre passes through four phases of existence. • 1. Experimental - this is when early films helped to formalise convention • 2. Classic - this is when the phase of films which established the narrative conventions of the genre in its most successful and defining period • 3. Parody - these are films that have mimicked the genre in some comical way • 4. Deconstruction - this is the phase where films which have taken generic elements of a genre and merged them into varifying sub genres Christian Metz’s theory can be found in horror films such as Scream which mimicks genre and have taken generic elements of genre.
Genre hybrids • A cross-genre(hybrid genre) is a genre in fiction that blends themes and elements from two or more different genres. For example rom-com; comedy and romance, or thriller/horror.
Auteurism • The concept of genre is often used in opposition to auteurism. • The auteur director uses the elements in a film in an individual and distinctive way to produce a signature.
Andre Bazin • Bazin wished to raise the status of cinema and position film writers. • Basin was the first to explore the very significant advantages of genre from an institutional perspective
Repertoire of Elements • The codes of a genre film come under the categories of: • narrative • mise en scene • ideological themes
Intertextuality • Where a text alludes to, or references, another text. Every text is a mosaic of references to text and genre. • The assignment of a text to a genre provides the audience with a text with a key intertextual framework. • Each example of a genre utilises conventions which link it to other members of that genre.
Rick Altman • Rick Altman, in a 1984 article, proposed a semantic /syntactic approach to film genre • Altman pointed out that genre (up until the 1960s) was often discussed in either ‘inclusive’ or ‘exclusive’ terms • Altman states that genre films implicitly ingest every previous film in the genre and so make heavy use of intertextual references. • Genres are usually defined in terms of certain media language/iconography or even stars, or certain ideologies and narratives.
Genre & Audience Pleasures- Richard Dyer • Genre forms are pleasurable because they allow a fantasy escape from a reality full of scarcity, exhaustion, and alienation into a fictional world coded as abundant, energetic, transparent, intense and with moments of community.
Influences on genre from structuralism • Structuralism underlines the importance of genre, i.e., basic rules as to how subjects are approached, about conventions of reading for theme, level of seriousness, significance of language use, and so forth. • "Different genres lead to different expectations of types of situations and action”
Mark Reid • Asks the critical question of whether we read genre as noun or adjective. He offers tomato puree as an example, suggesting that we ask a philosophical question : what would happen to this item if it were shelved in another part of the shop? Would the thing itself be any different. How something is categorised is determined by who does it from whom, where and when.
Genre and Zeitgest • Genres evolve over time to match audience tastes and to reflect the zeitgest.