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Film and Genre

Many critics continue to claim genre films are mass-produced nonsense designed to entertain an uncultured audience while elevating the prestige of other productions because of their artistic and technical achievements. This bias is most obvious in the Academy Awards where there seems to an over-representation of historical epics and biographical dramas.

Of course, by praising the creative genius behind these Oscar-winning masterpieces, film critics and journalists are also elevating their own status.

There is no doubt studying genre can help develop our understanding of the structures and processes of films. We can also learn more about cinema and the way it functions as a social institution. It is also important to celebrate the aesthetic and technical achievements of filmmakers who produce such wonderfully entertaining genre films.

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Genre Examination Practice

The best approach to developing your understanding of genre is to apply to the key concepts to a broad range of media products. The following questions focus on character types, but you should be able to analyse the "semiotic process" and the "interplay of codes".