Intro to film - Assignment 3.pdf - What do you understand...

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What do you understand by the concept of film genre? With reference to Clueless (1995) and/or other films from this unit, write an essay that explores the idea that genres are located in industry and texts and audiences. Genre in film can be found in many aspects of a film’s creation. To properly grasp the concept of genre in film a look into the history of Hollywood is necessary. This will show us how industry, specifically the Hollywood studio era, played a role in the creation of genre, which has led to genre being able to be found in other components of film. Along with industry, a venture into genre in the text of a film and the semantic and syntactic elements of genre is also important in understanding the concept of genre. These two components will allow us to mature our knowledge on genre further, however audience also plays a vital factor in fully comprehending what genre is and how it fits into film. These three elements constitute the concept of genre and a further research into them will provide us with a solid understanding of genre. In order to investigate what creates a film’s genre we have to delve into the history of genre. According to Corrigan, White and Mazaj (312) “a genre is a category or classification of movies that share similar narrative and stylistic patterns in the presentation of their subject matter”. Knowing this, we can now look at how this definition came to fruition, in order to do that we must first probe into how the film industry fits into the creation of genre. Cook, Pam and Bernink (141) state “the economic organisation of the film industry along the lines of commodity production is cited as the reason for the existence of genres themselves”. Before the Hollywood studio era (1930s and 40s) there were semi-established genres, however talk of genre did not come into public discussion until the Holllywood studio era. The way in
which the early film industry handled the design and distribution of film led to the emergence of genre. Early Hollywood studios such as Fox, Paramount, etc.. were motivated by profit and in order to capitalise on the success of previous films Hollywood studios developed a system that would help them efficiently recreate the success previous films had provided them; “each genre had its regular scriptwriters, sometimes on a yearly contract, its directors, its craftsmen, its studios” (Metz 122). As

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