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Unit information: Film Genre in 2016/17

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Unit name Film Genre
Unit code DRAM20050
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Pete Falconer
Open unit status Not open
Pre-requisites

None

Co-requisites

None

School/department Department of Film and Television
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description

This unit will acquaint students with key issues in the study of film genres in Hollywood and other national cinemas. Students will examine both the conventions of individual genres and the idea of genre itself. These aims will be pursued through the detailed analysis of genre movies and their surrounding contexts. The unit will explore formal, historical, ideological and industrial perspectives on genre, and consider some of the ways in which genre has been conceptualised. Students will also consider alternative approaches that potentially complicate the premises and assumptions of genre theory.

Aims:

  • To examine the issues involved in defining and identifying film genres.
  • To explore the relationship between the conventions of a genre and the particularities of individual film texts.
  • To consider appropriate historical and theoretical contexts in which to understand film genres.
  • To explore the interaction between genre-based perspectives on popular cinema and other approaches.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

(1) identify and respond to issues raised in the study of film genre.

(2) critically assess the role genre plays in creating meaning in individual movies.

(3) compare and evaluate different ways of defining genres and genre films.

(4) situate film genres, and changes within them, historically.

(5) evaluate the claims made by genre theory and criticism, in relation to the appropriate evidence.

(6) produce work within a group, showing abilities to listen, contribute and lead effectively.

Teaching details

Weekly 2-hour seminar, weekly 3-hour screening with 15-minute introduction

Assessment Details

20-minute group presentation (40%) ILO 1-6

3000 word essay (60%) ILO 1-5

Reading and References

Altman, R. (1999), Film / Genre, London: BFI

Dowd, G., Stevenson, L., and Young, J. (eds., 2006), Genre Matters: Essays in theory and criticism, Bristol: Intellect

Geraghty, L. and Jancovich, M. (eds., 2008), The Shifting Definitions of Genre: Essays on labelling films, television shows and media, London: McFarland

Grant, B.K. (ed., 2003), Film Genre Reader III, Austin: University of Texas Press

Neale, S. (2000), Genre and Hollywood, London: Routledge

Thomas, D. (2000), Beyond Genre: Melodrama, comedy and romance in Hollywood films, Moffat: Cameron and Hollis

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