What Ways Do Genre Change Over Time

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade November 2001

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Do film genres change over time? The word genre is derived from the French meaning for "˜type' or "˜kind'. Genre is used as a concept to classify particular styles or types of texts by identifying common elements that are exhibited in films. It is also applied as an analytical device, used within the context of a text to establish typical characteristics and generic features displayed in texts. Genre is a powerful and effective tool. It is used by filmmakers as a framework for a successful and winning formula to create a movie that will induce audience pleasure. Filmmakers want the narrative of a film to be instantly attractive and recognisable, they do not want to waste any time establishing characters and plots, therefore genre uses key components that set up theme and stock characters in a film. Audiences find genres satisfying, due to the fact that they know that certain expectations may be fulfilled and they find pleasure in predicting what will happen next.

However, constant repetition of certain elements within film gives the audience the same old and recycled story and bores the audience. The ability of filmmakers to adjust the perception of more sophisticated audiences and creates a new "˜sub-genre' gives birth to a new winning formula that film studios will use as a basis to produce a new film.

Since the conception of genre, several factors can be attributed to the alteration and change of the tool. Certain social and historical circumstances over time have influenced filmmakers, which themselves is another reason for changes in genre. Cinema audiences have also changed creating stronger demands and expectations of film audiences. Examples of the change in genre over time can be exhibited in particular film genres.

The horror genre has seen a dramatic and sudden change in the...

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