What defines a film genre?
Is it the subject of the film, or the technique?
The MOVIE genre consists of many types of movies categorized by movie genre. But, now the definition of the movie genre is getting somehow into complexity, because of the explosion of the new technology in the cinema industry and it is still controversial.
Normally the filmmakers define the movie genres into action adventure film, comedy film, documentary film, experimental film, horror film or (thriller lately), melodrama film, musical film, mystery film, romance (romantic film), science-fiction film and Western film.
Lately, with the said development of the cinema technology and with everything being computerized, we started to hear about a complex of film genres, such as romantic drama, which is further defined with an extension of romantic fantasy drama, action animated film, psychological film, street action racing and other new genres of films.
But, as you see from the example of the romantic drama, many genres of film have other names pointing to the same genre, as in the example of anime film, which is animation film.
The musicals also have been defined by extensional phrases to define them more and define them into Classical, Disco, Jazz, R&B, Rock, Rap, Reggae and others.
When it gets into dances the description may remain the same,as in Blues, Disco and Electro, or vary to include Ballet, Flamenco, Jazz, Lambada, Lap, Mambo, Salsa, Samba, Tango, Twist and others.
Spectators used in the old days to define the film genre by other words. For example, when one wants to go to the cinema to see a western film, he simply says cowboys. But, is this a film genre?
This is a point to explain that not all of the movie genres defined by spectators are exactly the same genres we know about, when we look to the measures implemented to define a film genre.
In addition to the genres of movies known today, other cinemas in the world, such as the Indian cinema, the Arabic cinema, the German cinema, the Latin cinema and the Mexican cinema have some more genres of films.
According to the location of the movie production, each of the locations defined in this specification by cultures and countries could be a genre of film sub-divided into other genres by subject/themes and techniques.
For example, when we say Bollywood Movies, we immediately get to the location and know it is India and when we say a Middle East movie, we get to the location and the language of that location.
The genres of films (by subject and themes) are also divided by iconography and film techniques into animated films genres, fictional genres, science fiction genres, space films genres and some other types of films.
Taking the audience into consideration, as another factor that determines the genres of films, film makers consider also to whom this film or that is shot. Therefore, we find films defined for children and others for adult.
This indicates that the genres of films are difficult to define to put a group of films into this genre or that, as it indicates that there are more factors to define the film genre summarized in subject and theme, film techniques and iconography and then the audience.
However, the movie makers always decide on the main line of the topics that the events, or the stories are about to define which genre the movie belongs to.
They tend sometimes to group films by genres taken by their emotional effects on the audience, as they do with horror, or thriller films.
It is very easy to group books in genres, but films are somewhat difficult because a film could contain more music as melodies running with a romantic film, or other subjects running with the main theme of the film, for example.
Such film could also have lot of fantasy. So, how to define the genre of such film? Is it a fictional film genre, romantic, or musical movie genre?
Also, take into consideration, the following question:
Why fictional film is a genre?
Fictional films include other genres too. So, this seems very confusing to normal audience, when they read about movie genre.
The subjects and themes of the movies define the film genre. This is well taken as a principle to define the movie genre. But, some movie genres could vanish, or melt into each other.
However, the complete line of the subject or the theme is always the standard taken to define the film genre. The film makers in this situation refer to the film form and especially to the film narrative form to define the film genre.
In addition to this consideration the techniques used in the film combined with iconography also define its genre. Analyzing a film immediately after the completion of the production, however, is another way for the movie genre to be more visible.
So, it is more identical that a film could have two movie genres according to this definition and maybe more genres, sometimes according to the location of the movie production. Take the Western movie genre as an example in this sense.
Nevertheless, we still have to ask is the film genre broad in this context?
It seems that the movie genres are so controversial between film makers, film critics and film spectators!
Movie critics always find difficulties, when they try to put films into genres. This problem is always bypassed by film makers, when they decide to make a film, though. They take into consideration many factors to decide the best genre the film belongs to.
They assign film genres to films taking the overall themes and subjects at once, sometimes even before the film production and shooting, whether the films include music, fantasy, or some animations.
However, they may change the assigned movie genres later, or mix the genres of the movies to group films by genres.
In addition, the movie genres vary among spectators, according to their cultural orientation and the way they understand the entire subject of the movie.
The genres also vary among movie makers and reviewers, although they have an agreement to group films by genre categories through what they call genre convention.
The genre convention is governed in turn by film culture including the mainstream topics (subjects and themes) and films techniques including iconography.
This reflects that film genres are bound to social and cultural factors and sometimes economical factors, as this reflection appears on the new movies produced in Hollywood.
But, again the filmmakers including the film director and the film editor use the same convention, when they are tempted to mix film genres and so the convention changes through history according to some demands filmmakers see as necessary as to carry on with the development of the cinema.
However, what applies to cinema applies to TVs too. Just look at the movies in the action TV shows to know how a movie could be defined with more than one specific genre.
Notice this notion through which some film critics consider a film as "a psychic political thriller comedy", for example. How many genres are there in this quote, do you think?
There are four film genres in this description. Film makers might have chosen a mixing category for that film. However, this is still to be determined by taking the basic subject and theme of the film, as standard definition.
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