Week 3: Introduction to genre: Unit 4

In this post I am going to explain what Genre is and how it is used, i will give some examples and explain. I will also talk about a certain Genre which is completley different to the others which is Film Noir.


Genre: Genre means the type of film.

There are lots of genres of film such as:

  • Horror
  • Comedy
  • Thriller
  • Western
  • Action
  • Adventure
  • Rom-com
  • Documentary
  • Sci-Fi
  • Family

You can tell generally tell what genre it is based on the Narrative, Iconography, Mise-en-scene and the technical skills used. The Narrative will be completely different for a horror film than for a Romantic comedy, the stories related to horror films are scary, horrific, disgusting and tent to all be similar. The story of a horror usually involves a killer or something supernatural that is trying to cause harm to the main characters, you wouldn’t expect jokes unless it was a horror/comedy for example ‘Scary Movie’.

The Iconography are the object related to the genre of film. In the genre Western there are lots of things that tell you its a western, they have things like revolvers, horses, tumble weeds. Also look of the object make a big difference for example if a cowboys revolver is spotless silver rather than rusty metal it shows that he is rich and uses it often. Colour is used to differentiate bad from good, bad are associated with dark colours and the good are associated with light colours.

The technical skills are what type of light, editing or camerawork was used whether it was good rule of thirds or what shot types for example Westerns for example use a lot of extreme close-ups because that what they used when they first started years ago and are strongly associated to them now so continue to use them.

Film Noir:

Is a genre which is usually dark stories involving crooked cops, private detectives and anti hero’s and tends to take place in big American cities. They are shot with low lighting and use shadows as a tool and also framed with it. instead of using an extreme close up they shone light through blinds which highlighted the characters eyes covering everything else in shadows. They also used soft lighting to light up woman actresses faces to make them more attractive. This genre of film was first introduced during WWII times so made it important that the good guy always won, this was used as escapism from the harsh reality that the audience of that time had to live in as the cinema was the only chance to do this as no one had televisions.



This is a good example of the use of shadows to make someone menacing, the characters fedora creates a shadow over their face meaning that their identity is unknown.




The lesson on Film Noir was great, I enjoyed it and learned a lot about using lighting and shadows in a specific way to portray a characters feelings or personallity.

Week 3: Introduction to genre: Unit 4

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