Movie Genres: Theory and Research

Genre is still a useful theoretical and empirical tool in film studies and in film criticism.

Genre helps us understand the nature of film as a commodity by reflecting audiences expectations.

As such, it is intricately related to the making, marketing, and consumption of films.

The scholar Stephen Neale has offered a useful definition of the concept (1980):

“Genres are systems of orientations, expectations, and conventions that circulate between industry, text, and subject.”

There are at least four areas of research:

Genre and ideology

Genre and representation and diversity

Genre and auteur directors

Genre and the public (the viewing experience)