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Film Genres

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Film genres are identifiable types, categories, classifications or groups of films that have similar techniques or conventions such as:  content  recurring icons  subject matter  stock characters  structures  narrative events  themes  situations  mood  motifs  period  styles  plot  props  settings  stars

Film Genres
Primary film genres include the following:
 Action Films  Adventure Films  Comedy Films  Crime Films  Dramas  Epics  Horror Films  Musicals  Science Fiction  Westerns Thriller Fantasy  Dance  Romance  Sports  Animated Documentary

Are identifiable sub-classes within the larger film genre, with their own distinctive subject matter, style, formulas, and iconography.

Action films usually include high energy, big-budget physical stunts and chases, possibly with rescues, battles, fights, escapes, races against time and crises featuring non-stop motion, break-neck rhythm and pacing. Action Sub-genres Spy Rescue Political thrillers Revenge Martial arts films Races against time Ex: STREET FIGHTER: Col. Guile and various other martial arts heroes fight against the tyranny of Dictator M. Bison and his cohorts.

It often uses a secret agent (solo or in a team) or superspy whose mission is a showcase of science fiction elements such as technology and ideas used for

Ex: Mr.& Mrs.Smith Two spies marry and are unaware that their spouse is a spy and are on a mission to assasin each other.

The protagonist is on a mission to rescue hostages or in many cases a loved one

Ex: Taken
An ex spy goes in search of his daughter abducted and about to be sold into prostituition in Paris

Political thriller
A political thriller is a thriller that is set against the backdrop of a political power struggle involving various extra-legal plots, designed to give political power to someone, while his opponents try to stop him. Or Simply, a story revolving around political background.

Ex: The Pelican brief
Two Supreme Court Justices have been assassinated by the President of US. One lone law student has stumbled upon the truth. An investigative journalist wants her story. Everybody else wants her dead.

Films with vengence as a motive for the actions and violence.

Ex: Kill Bill ‘The Bride’ wakes up after a long coma. The baby that she carried before entering the coma is gone. The only thing on her mind is to have revenge on the assassination team that betrayed her – a team she was once part of.

Martial Arts
Films with a specific martial arts as a theme or a clash of different martial artists.

Ex: The Karate kid A single mother to moves to China with her young son; after being harassed by local kids embraces kung fu taught by His master and enters competition

Races against time
Films where a task has to be completed in the given time limits.

Ex: 12 Rounds
Detective Fisher discovers his girlfriend has been kidnapped by a ex-con tied to Fisher’s past, and he’ll have to successfully complete 12 challenges on time in order to secure her safe release.

Adventure films are exciting stories, with new experiences or exotic locales, very similar to or often paired with the Action film genre.

Adventure Sub genres  swashbucklers  serialized films  expedition films  treasure hunts  disaster films

Ex: Finding Nemo After his son is captured in the Great Barrier Reef and taken to Sydney, a timid clownfish sets out on a journey to bring him home.

Swashbuckler films are an action-adventure subgenre often characterised by swordfighting and adventurous heroic characters, often set in Renaissance Western Europe with appropriately lavish costumes. Morality is often clear-cut, heroic characters are clearly heroic and even villains tend to have a code of honour

Ex: Count of Monte Christo A young man, falsely imprisoned by his jealous “friends,” escapes and uses a hidden treasure to exact his revenge

Serialized films
Serials, more specifically known as Movie serials, Film serials or Chapter plays, were short subjectsoriginally shown in theaters in conjunction with a feature film

Ex: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull Famed archaeologist/adventurer Dr. Henry “Indiana” Jones is called back into action when he becomes entangled in a Soviet plot to uncover the secret behind mysterious artifacts known as the Crystal Skulls.

Expedition films
A few people go on an expedition trip and have adventurous encounters there.

Ex: Jurassic Park During a preview tour, a theme park suffers a major power breakdown that allows its cloned dinosaur exhibits to run amok.

Treasure Hunt
Films where the protagonist and his friends are on a mission to find a treasure.

Ex: National Treasure A treasure hunter is in hot pursuit of a mythical treasure that has been passed down for centuries, while his employer turned enemy is onto the same path that he’s on.

Disaster films
A disaster film is a film genre that has an impending or ongoing disaster as its subject. Along with showing the spectacular disaster, these films concentrate on the chaotic events surrounding the disaster, including efforts for survival, the effects upon individuals and families, and ‘what-if’ scenarios.

Ex: day after Tomorrow A climatologist tries to figure out a way to save the world from abrupt global warming. He must get to his young son in New York, which is being taken over by a new ice age.

Comedies are light-hearted plots deliberately designed to amuse and provoke laughter by exaggerating the situation, language, action, relationships and characters. Comedy Sub Genres Slapstick Stand up screwball  spoofs / parodies  romantic comedies  black comedy

Ex Jack n Jill Family guy Jack Sadelstein prepares for the annual event he dreads: the Thanksgiving visit of his twin sister, the needy and passive-aggressive Jill, who then refuses to leave.

Slap stick
Slapstick is a type of broad, physical comedy involving exaggerated, boisterous actions and activities.

Ex: Delirious An offbeat drama focused on a homeless youth, a pop music siren and a member of the paparazzi.

Stand up
Usually, a comedian performs, speaking directly to them. The performer is commonly known as a comic, stand-up comic, stand-up comedian or simply a stand-up.

Ex: Funny people When seasoned comedian George Simmons learns of his terminal, inoperable health condition, his desire to form a genuine friendship cause him to take a relatively green performer under his wing as his opening act.

Crazy and utterly hilarious films

Ex: The Hangover A Las Vegas-set comedy centered around three groomsmen who lose their about-to-be-wed buddy during their drunken misadventures, thenymust retrace their steps in order to find him.

Spoofs/ Parody
A mocking imitation of someone or something, usually lightand good-humored

Ex: Scary Movie A year after disposing the body of a man accidently killed, a group of dumb teenagers are stalked by a bumbling serial killer.

Romantic comedies
Films in which romantic scenes appear are hilarious.

Ex:The Bounty Hunter Ex: Scary Movie AA year after disposing that body of a man is bounty hunter learns the his next target his ex-wife, killed, a group of dumb murder accidently a reporter working on a cover-up. Soon stalked by reunion, the alwaysteenagers are after their a bumbling at-oddskiller. find themselves on a run-for-theirserial duo lives adventure.

Black comedy
A serious issue is expressed in a very dramatic and light Hearted humor way in such films.

Ex: Date night In New York City, a case of mistaken identity turns a bored married couple’s attempt at a glamorous and romantic evening into something more thrilling and dangerous.

Crime films feature the sinister actions of criminals, mobsters, bank robbers, underworld figures, and ruthless hoodlums who operate outside the law, stealing and murdering their way through life. Crime Sub Genres gangster films  detective films  film noir  mysteries  serial killer films Ex: Beverly Hills Cop A freewheeling Detroit cop pursuing a murder investigation finds himself dealing with the very different culture of Beverly Hills.

Gangster films
Crime films involving Mafia and gangsters.

Ex: The Departed Two men from opposite sides of the law are undercover within the Massachusetts State Police and the Irish mafia, but violence and bloodshed boil when discoveries are made, and the moles are dispatched to find out their enemy’s identities

Detective films
Films involving the investigation of crime by a detective or any judiciary official

Ex: Sherlock Holmes (2009) Detective Sherlock Holmes and his stalwart partner Watson engage in a battle of wits and brawn with a nemesis whose plot is a threat to all of England.

Film noir
Film noir is a cinematic term used primarily to describe stylish Hollywood crime dramas, particularly those that emphasize cynical attitudes and sexual motivations.

Ex: Maltese Falcon A private detective takes on a case that involves him with three eccentric criminals, a gorgeous liar, and their quest for a priceless statuette.

It focuses on the efforts of the detective, private investigator or amateur sleuth to solve the mysterious circumstances of a crime by means of clues, investigation, and clever deduction.

Ex: Safe House A young CIA agent is tasked with looking after a fugitive in a safe house. But when the safe house is attacked, he finds himself on the run with his charge

serial killer / Psycho films
Films where the villain is a psycho or a serial killer and commits horrendous murders.

Ex: Hannibal A psycho killer ‘Hannibal’ commits serial murders eats his victims organs. Agent Starling strives to arrest him.

Dramas are serious, plot-driven films, portraying realistic characters, settings, life situations, and stories involving intense character development and interaction. Drama Sub Genres:  melodramas  biographical films  ‘adult’ films  road movies  “guy” films

Ex: Mirror Mirror An evil queen steals control of a kingdom and an exiled princess enlists the help of seven resourceful rebels to win back her birthright

A sensational dramatic Movie with exaggerated characters and exciting events intended to appeal to the emotions.

Ex: Black swan
A ballet dancer wins the lead in “Swan Lake” and is perfect for the role of the delicate White Swan – Princess Odette – but slowly loses her mind as she becomes more and more like Odile, the Black Swan.

Biographical Film
Films based on true story or a biography.

Ex: The Social Network The origin of facebook and the issues behind it.

Road movies
A road movie is a film genre in which the main character or characters leave home to travel from place to place. They usually leave home to escape their current lives.[1]

Ex: Thelma and Louise An Arkansas waitress and a housewife shoot a rapist and take off in a ’66 Thunderbird.

“guy” films
These films are particularly liked more by men i.e masculine in nature.

Ex: Die hard New York cop John McClane gives terrorists a dose of their own medicine as they hold hostages in an LA office building.

Epics take an historical or imagined event, mythic, legendary, or heroic figure, and add an extravagant setting and lavish costumes, accompanied by grandeur and spectacle, dramatic scope, high production values, and a sweeping musical score. Epic sub genres  historical dramas  war films religious films

Ex: 300 King Leonidas and a force of 300 men fight the Persians at Thermopylae in 480 B.C.

Historical dramas
The historical drama is a film genre in which stories are based upon historical events and famous persons. Some attempt to accurately portray a historical event and Others are fictionalized tales that are based on an actual person and their deeds

Ex: Helen of troy Features the Trojan war and the legendary Tale of the wooden horse,

War films
Films featuring War times, War and the life of people during war

Ex: Apocalypse Now During the on-going Vietnam War, Captain Willard is sent on a dangerous mission into Cambodia to assassinate a renegade Green Beret who has set himself up as a god among a local tribe.

Religious films
Films based on religious stories, myths, legends etc. Films on religion’s belief and behavior

Ex: The Passion of Christ The life and Crucification of Christ

Horror films are designed to frighten and to invoke our hidden worst fears, often in a terrifying, shocking finale, while captivating and entertaining us at the same time in a cathartic experience. Horror Sub Genres  slasher  supernatural  monsters

Ex: Underworld When human forces discover the existence of the Vampire and Lycan clans, a war to eradicate both species commences. The vampire warrioress leads the battle against humankind.

Murderous movies tapping into the most basic fear of being hunted by someone trying to kill you.

Ex: I know what you did last summer Four teens are in great danger one year after their car hits a stranger whose body they dump in the sea. They are being hunted down one by one.

Super natural horror
Horror films featuring supernatural elements usually ghosts and evil spirits.

Ex: The ring A young journalist must investigate a mysterious videotape which seems to cause the death of anyone in a week of viewing it.

Films feature disgusting creatures and monsters.

Ex: Tremors Natives of a small isolated town defend themselves against strange underground creatures which are killing them one by one.

Sci-fi films are often quasi-scientific, visionary and imaginative – complete with heroes, aliens, distant planets, quests, fantastic places, new technology, and extraordinary monsters. Sci-fi films often feature multiple genres. Sci Fi Genres  futuristic films  graphic novels  medical miseries  devil machines  Extra terrestrial Ex: Tron Legacy The son of a virtual world designer goes looking for his father and ends up inside the digital world that his father designed. He meets his father’s creation turned bad and a unique ally who was born inside the digital domain of The Grid.

Futuristic films
Films with advanced futuristic technology and concepts.

Ex: In time In a future where people stop aging at 25, but are engineered to live only one more year, having the means to buy your way out of the situation is a shot at immortal youth. Here, Will Salas finds himself accused of murder and on the run with a hostage – a connection that becomes an important part of the way against the system.

Graphic novel films
Based on comics and the film in itself appears like a comic story.

Ex: Ultraviolet A beautiful hemophage infected with a virus that gives her superhuman powers has to protect a boy in a futuristic world, who is thought to be carrying antigens that would destroy all hemophages.

Medical / Scientific misery
Sci Fi featuring mishaps due to a medical mess.

Ex: Resident evil A special military unit fights a powerful, outof-control supercomputer and hundreds of scientists who have mutated into flesheating creatures after a laboratory accident.

Devil Machines
Sci fi involving hi-tech machines and robots.

Ex: Terminator salvation After Skynet has destroyed much of humanity in a nuclear holocaust, a group of survivors led by John Connor struggles to keep the machines from finishing the job.

Extra terrestrial
Films involving aliens (extra terrestrial beings and elemnts)

Ex: E.T A meek and alienated little boy finds a stranded extraterrestrial. He has to find the courage to defy the authorities to help the alien return to its home planet.

Westerns are the major defining genre of the American film industry – a eulogy to the early days of the expansive American frontier. They are one of the oldest, most enduring genres with very recognizable plots, elements, and characters.

Ex: Once upon a time in the west Epic story of a mysterious stranger with a harmonica who joins forces with a notorious desperado to protect a beautiful widow from a ruthless assassin working for the railroad.

A thriller provides the sudden rush of emotions, excitement, sense of suspense and exhilaration that drive the narrative, sometimes subtly with peaks and lulls, sometimes at a constant, breakneck pace thrills. Most of the thriller sub genres are mixed with Subgenres of other genres. Subgenres: Hostage Action Mystery Horror Ex: Dial M for Murder An ex-tennis pro carries out a plot to murder his wife. When things go wrong, he improvises a brilliant plan B.

Musicals/dance films are cinematic forms that emphasize full-scale scores or song and dance routines in a significant way, or they are films that are centered on combinations of music, dance, song or choreography.

Ex: Burlesque A small-town girl ventures to Los Angeles and finds her place in a neo-burlesque club run by a former dancer as an exotic performer.

Films focusing on dance. Usually the protagonist is an ambitious And talented dancer who strives to win a competion or a seat in university.

Ex: Make it happen Embarking on a journey to fulfill her dreams as a dancer, a young girl discovers a new style of dance that will prove to be the source of both conflict and selfdiscovery.

Films potraying love, passion and attraction between two people And their journey through love. Nowadays almost every film has romantic scenes

Ex: A walk to remember The story of two teens, Landon Carter and Jamie Sullivan, who are thrown together after Landon gets into trouble and is made to do community service.

Films that centres around a sport, it mostly shows how the protagonist achieves in his specific sport.

Ex: Bend it like Bekham The daughter of orthodox Sikh rebels against her parents’ traditionalism by running off to Germany with a football team.

Animation is the rapid display of a sequence of images to create an illusion of movement. The most common method of presenting animation is as a motion picture or video program, although there are other methods. Such films with graphic characters are animated films.

Ex: Lion King How a cub tricked into the thought of Murdering his father later learns the truth and becomes the king of the jungle.

Documentary films constitute a broad category of nonfictional motion pictures intended to document some aspect of reality, primarily for the purposes of instruction or maintaining a historical record

Ex: Newton the dark heretic A BBC documentary uncovers, for the first time, the original manuscript where Newton forecast the date of the end of the world.


IMDb Wikipedia Slide share Lecture by John M. Grace,

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