oyoy.jpgRoberrson, J. (no date) ‘Which Movie Genre Best Matches Your Personality’

In this session we learnt all about genre in relation to Film and TV. It was really interesting to find out more about how to analyse genre, and why is it important for both consumers and media creators.

Genre simply means ‘type.’ Focusing on film and TV in particular, here are a variety of different types of genre:

  • western
  • thriller
  • crime
  • comedy
  • film noir
  • action
  • sci-fi
  • fantasy
  • rom-com

There are also things like ‘drama’ and ‘adventure.’ These are technically counted as genres but (for example) drama is found in most types of film, no matter if the movie is a sci-fi or western or any other genre. This is why there are sub genres, as it helps to divide films more specifically into the categories that best suit them.

One of the key elements as a media creator is to have ‘genre expectations’. Genre expectations tell us as an audience and media creator what we are expecting in film.

For example:

Genre expectations of a Horror:

  • Jumpscares
  • Suspense
  • Gore

Genre expectations of a Sci-Fi:

  • Futuristic
  • Space
  • Aliens
  • Technology
  • Robots
  • Strange ways of communication

Genre expectations of a Thriller:

  • Implied violence
  • Plot twists
  • Frightening locations
  • Relatable a scarily realistic
  • Fear of the normal

Even if you don’t consume a genre personally, you would still know the main genre expectations. For example, for me, I don’t usually watch films under the Genre of Western but, even so, I still know the Genre Expectations of a Western film:

Genre expectations of a Western:

  • Horses
  • Cowboys
  • Saloons
  • Hats
  • Sun
  • Guns


How do we analyse genre?

The next thing we looked at as a group was how to analyse genre, and what we look for when we do. There a variety of different things that we as consumers must take into account when analysing genre.



From a theatre point of view, mise-en-scene means everything that has been put on a stage to show the audience what is happening. So in terms of Film and TV, mise-en-scene is ‘what is in the scene’.  Here are some classic elements found in different genres of film:

Sci-fi: The spaceship.

Western: Two cowboys getting ready for a fight.

Thriller: an ordinary house, normal life and something coming.



Iconography is about the specific objects in a scene. By this I mean for example in a Western movie, what type of gun is being used? These objects are all of the things that an audience will do semiology on. These objects can go from props to clothes. The semiological analysis an audience will do on these items is really important when thinking about the overall atmosphere and theme of the scene.



A narrative is how the story is told. For instance is the story shown through a voice over? Or is the audience told what is going on through idents ( writing on a screen.)

For example:


  • finding aliens
  • defending normality


  • outsiders threatening
  • the underdog



  • lighting
  • sound
  • SFX


The very first genre?

The very first genre is called “Film Noir.” I have found it really interesting to find out a bit more about the history behind Film Noir, it really has been an informative and eye opening experience. I feel like many people automatically turn off films if they seem old or black and white. But this is such a negative attitude to have towards film. Film Noir is the beginning of something absolutely incredible. As well as that, Film Noir is just amazing, the lighting used is so cleverly crafted and so I am very excited to explore a little bit more into the history of Film Noir.

I thought the best place to start would be for me to watch a film under the genre ‘Film Noir.’ After some consideration, the one that really stood out to me was ‘Strangers On A Train’ (Alfred Hitchcock 1951). Overall I really enjoyed the film. I talk more about the film in my blog post named ‘Week 2: Unit 2 – Research ( Lighting )’ as here I find out about the types of lighting used in Film Noir, but I still thought it was relevant to mention here.

The phrase ‘Film Noir’ was coined in France in the 1940’s. It was there to represent to dark, dingey and ominous looking crime films that were being created in America at the time. One example of just one of these films is ‘Laura’ (Otto Preminger 1944 ) ‘Laura’ is a romantic detective thriller and, in my opinion, it is one of the best films under the genre ‘Film Noir.’

Lots of the films made at the time were representative of the situation of the world at the time. Film Noir was at it’s peak through World War 2, and so there are themes running through of loss of innocence and paranoia.

I was interesting to find out that a lot of the Film Noir films created at the time were made very quickly and with little room for error. Because of World War 2, there was very little film to film on but, at the time, they wanted lots of films out there to keep the spirits of people up. This is why the movies would often be shorter, as people would go to the cinema and see two different movies.

Two famous ‘Film Noir’ Films

Strangers On A Train: Alfred Hitchcock (1951):

I actually decided that to get a further knowledge on ‘Film Noir’ I should actually watch a ‘Film Noir’ myself. I decided to watch ‘Strangers On a Train’ as it really appealed to me. This is because it looked like an suspenseful crime thriller. I really liked the movie due to the incredible camera skills and lighting. I would say that this film is a Romance, Crime, Thriller And ( of course ) ‘Film Noir.’ Some of the scene still stick in my mind because of the incredible lighting that was used, for example the use of venetian blinds to create beautiful pools of light that make the scene visually interesting for the audience.

The Maltese Falcon: John Huston (1941):

I would say the ‘The Maltese Falcon’ is one of the most famous ‘Film Noir’ films of all time. Created at the beginning of the 1940’s this film was made right near the beginning of the creation of ‘Film Noir.’ This movie is an incredible crime thriller that captured me from the very start, forcing me to pay attention. The use of lighting (such as venetian blinds to create pools of light to create a really visually pleasing scene for the consumer to take in) is really effective throughout the film.

Harvard Referencing:

D’Ambra, T. (No Date)  ‘What Is Film Noir?’ Available at: http://filmsnoir.net/what-is-film-noir/ ( Last Accessed: 1st October 2016 )

Dirks, T. (no date) ‘Film Noir’ Available at: http://www.filmsite.org/filmnoir.html ( Last Accessed: 1st October 2016 )

Roberrson, J. (no date) ‘Which Movie Genre Best Matches Your Personality’ Available at: http://www.zimbio.com/quiz/CxSGq0q3pC9/Movie+Genre+Best+Matches+Personality (Last Accessed: 25th October 2016)