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Latest Topics

1

How 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016) and Drive (2011) Operate as Multi-Genre Films

Analyze how these two films balance multiple, often opposing, genres to create something unique and engaging. In what ways are the films similar in their approach to genre-switching? How do the liberties or risks each film takes illustrate that risk-aversion in movie making can be limiting?

  • I agree 10 Cloverfield really tried to keep viewers guessing because they utilized viewer's expectations of multiple genres at the same time. At one point you're wondering whether this is apocalyptic horror vs just captive horror all while drawing suspense; confirming apocalyptic horror first, keeping the captive horror and in the end reintroducing the alien invasion horror. It was a nice juggling act. Mind you I felt that once she got out of the capsule it was really jarring but that was good! It's great to actually get confronted by other genres that have been leading up to, when really you're just sitting there thinking "they won't do it, that'd be too much". Nice combination. – Slaidey 3 years ago
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  • Hi, just to clarify, are you talking about Drive (2011) with Ryan Gosling, Carrie Mulligan, and Albert Brooks? Or is there another movie called drive from 2015?Sounds like a very interesting topic! – SeanGadus 3 years ago
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  • Yes, that was an error. Thanks for catching it SeanGadus! – Kira Metcalfe 3 years ago
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  • And are genres restrictive because they have 'requirements'? If I wrote a rom-com noir would people lose their minds (joking)?Genres are entirely human-imposed, so they're infinitely interesting to me. Thanks for the positive spin on the debate! I feel like using genre expectations is a great film-making practice (as long as it's not obnoxious/self-important, ha). – m-cubed 3 years ago
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  • After watching many Nicolas Winding Refn movies, I have observed that Drive is very much the director's most "tame" film in terms of how he balances the art house genre with a "mainstream cinema"-esque style. Therefore, I would say that it is good that the film takes risks, but it does not take nearly as many risks as other films he has released. Most have been very divided by critics on their release because he implements even more genre-switching, to the extent that it becomes somewhat challenging to watch. I think for this reason while the risks he took in the movie worked well, the modesty in risk that Refn takes on Drive as compared to his other films actually benefitted it in terms of its wide understanding and accessibility to the audience. – dboyer 3 years ago
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3

The Graphic Novel Method

Over the last few years, I’ve been thinking about graphic novels and comics beyond a "medium." Last year, /Critical Inquiry/ released and issue dedicated to comics and media that include a variety of articles from academics and industry icons (e.g., Chris Ware) that are looking to push the boundaries of the art and aesthetics of the genre. For example, Ware has been pushing (and practicing) a view of graphic novels that plays with the idea of the physical object of a book containing the narrative–this, he notes, is something he’s been thinking about as digital comics have become more popular. One of the more interesting projects I’ve seen recently is by Özge Samanci: GPS Comics ((link) She’s also written an article for the International Digital Media and Arts Association exploring how to move graphic novels from discussions of medium to genre: (link) While I dig the idea of comics as a genre, I wonder if there would be a way that we might talk about graphic novels and comics as a aesthetic method rather than as a medium or genre. Thoughts?

  • I was about to say, "Hey, I took a class on this!" But then I realized. Hmm, for thoughts on how to approach this, maybe the post could start out talking about the concept of comics as a medium (there's also that article where the author examined comics as a language), and then go into why the aesthetic method may be more fitting. There's the GPS comics you mentioned above, as well as the "Building Stories" box of narratives we looked at in class. I'd be fascinated to see someone take this on. Also, there's Topffer's original goal of comics as an accessible education method to consider. – emilydeibler 4 years ago
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  • Thanks, Emily. I taught that class. :) – revfigueiredo 4 years ago
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Genre Mixing: What Makes it Work?

Most video games tend to fall somewhere in between genres, rather than belonging to one strict genre. However, sometimes games will combine two starkly contrasting genres, and that can create an experience which can be exciting but may also sometimes feel forced.

One example is the Persona series, which is part dungeon crawling RPG and part dating-sim style socialization, and ended up being wildly popular despite the unusual concept. What process do game creators need to go through to create a successful game that heavily mixes genres?