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Film Genres

This guide highlights library resources for some of the more popular film genres.

Keeping up with the journal literature

New Discovery System at the Top of the Page

     With the beginning of our new discovery system, you have a new way to find articles, books, maps, videos and anything else the Library owns or has access to. And you don't even have to leave this page! At the top of the page, you will see a search box. Type in your terms, hit Enter and see what you get. This discovery system searches for books, articles and everything else.

     Too many results? Use the left of the page to narrow your search. Narrow your search to "Peer-reviewed" items. Or maybe you only want to see books. You can limit your search to books. Want to limit your search to the most recent items? You can do that too. Do a search, experiment with the facets to limit the search and see how you like how it works.

And let us know what you think about it.

Finding library resources

This page is here to help you find movies of a specific types and resources that talk about those types. The list will grow as time permits.

Groups of films classified according to

1. shared characteristics of film form, film style, iconography, or content (textual focus);

2. film industry practices of production and marketing (industry focus);

3. audience expectations and responses (reception focus). Many film genres have existed since the earliest years of cinema: the action film, biopic, melodrama, and social problem film, to name only a handful (see early cinema; silent cinema); while others are newer: the chick flick, extreme cinema, machinima, for example. Some genres are international, or nearly so: these include the fantasy film, the musical, pornography, science fiction; while others are closely associated with particular national cinemas: chanchada, peplum film, blaxploitation, Heimat film.

In film studies, the study of genre—often termed genre criticism —divides into two main aspects: firstly, work on individual film genres (historical treatises on the Hollywood western, for example); and secondly, general theoretical inquiry into genre as a system of expectations and conventions that circulate between film industry, film texts, and filmgoers. The second area of study is undeveloped by comparison with the first, which until the 1990s was largely dominated by attention to popular genres in Hollywood cinema.

Kuhn, A., & Westwell, G. (2012). genre. In A Dictionary of Film Studies. : Oxford University Press. Retrieved 13 Oct. 2020

To find what we have in the Library's collection, you can do a subject search for "film genres" in the online catalog. You can also use the other subject heading shown: "motion pictures plots, themes, etc."

For more books about cinema genres, click here.

Keeping up with Film Studies journal literature

Want an easy way to keep up with the journal literature for all facets of Film Studies? And you use a mobile device? You can install the BrowZine app and create a custom Bookshelf of your favorite journal titles. Then you will get the Table of Contents (ToCs) of your favorite journals automatically delivered to you when they become available. Once you have the ToC's, you can download and read the articles you want from the journals for which we have subscriptions.

You can get the app from the App Store or Google Play.

Don't own or use a mobile device? You can still use BrowZine! It's now available in a web version. You can get to it here. The web version works the same way as the app version. Find the journals you like, create a custom Bookshelf, get ToCs and read the articles you want.