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The Concept of Genre in Blue Velvet

  • Date Submitted: 11/07/2014 08:16 PM
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The Concept of Genre in Blue Velvet
Christina Godfrey
ENG 225
Lynette Cahill
November 6, 2014

A genre is a type, or category of films. Genre films contain a plot or story that shares a theme with other films like it. They use familiar story formulas, character types, settings and iconography (visual imagery with symbolic implications), which lead viewers to have certain expectations and what the movie will be like before actually watching it. (Goodykoontz) Genres can also be further grouped into subgenres, with even more narrowly definition used to group movies into categories.

The Latin word genus refers to birth, family, race or class and refers to any sort of categorization or classification. But the existence of genres is debated, and whether or not movies can be defined in terms of categories. Movie studios use genres to market films as it gives audiences an example in which to decide what they wish to see. Genres give a “cultural shorthand” (Goodykoontz) and can define expectations in types of movies. Genres are ever changing, and keep with the style of the time and place of the audience. Films give a good understanding of what a culture is like in that place and time in history and the evolution of film marks the evolution of a society.
Theorists and critics argue whether or not genres actually exist, and dismiss “genre” movies as to formulaic for dramatic analysis. Some movies follow a standard formula, but most are broad enough to cover several genres. Although genres are not a pre-ordained measure of quality in a film, they do give a good example of what a view can expect to see in a film.   Genres give the viewer a convenient way to examine and judge the film based upon other films into the same category.

Breaking films down into genres is a way of looking at movies and a way for movies to look at the audience (Goodykoontz). John Truby claims that the entire Hollywood entertainment industry is based on the concepts of genre and formula,...


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