Lifelong Learning Institute: Hollywood Studios: Spring 2002:

Approaches to Genre:


1. auteur: genre a part of author's persona


2. Cahiers du Cinema: "category e" genre films:

appear to reinforce dominant ideology

but really undermine it from within


3. Todorov: conventions of genres:

their defining features

genres open to change only w/i conventions of particular genre:

undergoing constant revision, living & changing


4. Buscombe: iconography: settings, clothes, tools, physical objects:

take on formal function & affect kinds of stories & themes


5. Mitry: referent: located in space & time


6. ways conventions are codified:


characters: organized according to types

filmic aspects:



deep focus



7. narrative aspects:

genre tells story of specific time

dominant plots


8. Warshow: genre films are intertextual


9. Lovell: formal elements that define western:

division between hero & villian

action stories

history of migration

revenge structure


bgs: 04-02