2. What is a genre?
In film theory, genre refers to the method based on similarities in the
narrative elements from which films are constructeFilm genres often
branch out into subgenres, as in the case of the courtroom and trial-
focused subgenre of drama known as the legal drama. Genres that at
first may seem unrelated can be combined to form hybrid genres, such
as the melding of horror and comedy in the Evil Dead films. Other
popular genre combinations are the romantic comedy and the action
4. *Romance Sub-genres:
Romantic Drama film is a genre that explores the complex side of love. The plot usually centers
around an obstacle that is preventing love between two people. The obstacles in Romantic Drama
film can range from a family's disapproval, to forbidden love, to one's own enormity of the
obstacle, the realization of incompatibility, or simply because of fate. psychological restraints.
Many Romantic Dramas end with the lovers separating because of the
Examples: Titanic, Breakfast at Tiffany's, An Officer and a Gentleman.
-Romantic-Comedy (chick-flick and gal films) :
Romantic-Comedy is a genre that attempts to catch the viewer’s heart with the combination of
love and humor. This sub-genre is light-hearted and usually places the two protagonists in
humorous situation. Romantic-Comedy film revolves around a romantic ideal, such as true love. In
the end the ideal triumphs over the situation or obstacle.
Examples: Roman Holiday, When Harry Met Sally, Knocked Up.
Drama film is a genre that relies on the emotional and relational development of realistic characters.
While Drama film relies heavily on this kind of development, dramatic themes play a large role in the plot
as well. Often, these dramatic themes are taken from intense, real life issues. Whether heroes or heroines
are facing a conflict from the outside or a conflict within themselves, Drama film aims to tell an honest
story of human struggles.
Drama Film Examples:
1. The Shawshank Redemption - A former banker convicted of murdering his wife develops a lifelong
friendship with a fellow prisoner, and ultimately tries to defy the odds by keeping hope alive inside prison
2. The Godfather - The aging patriarch of an organized crime circle must secure the future of his family’s
empire by leaving it in the hands of his reluctant son.
3. Casablanca - A jaded nightclub owner must choose whether or not to help his ex-lover and her husband
flee Nazi-occupied Morocco.
6. *DRAMA Sub-genres
-Biography: A Biography drama incorporates dramatic elements into a biographical film. These films differ
from Historical and “based in truth” films because they specifically chronicle the life of a person or a
group of people. Biography films attempt to show a comprehensive and accurate picture of the specific
subject, thus they tend to be serious and intense.
Examples: Ray, Monster, Blow
-Courtroom: Courtroom drama film uses the justice system as a main component of the plot. The story
usually unfolds inside a courtroom with the prosecutor, judge, jury, and the defense. Tension plays a large
part in courtroom dramas as the verdict can often mean life or death.
Examples: A Few Good Men, To Kill a Mockingbird, 12 Angry Men.
-Dramedy: Dramedy film is a genre that has a dramatic tone yet important elements of comedy. In
Dramedy film, the amount of drama and comedy are almost equally balanced. This balance provides
comedic relief for the audience, while still addressing serious issues.
Examples: Little Miss Sunshine, The Royal Tenenbaums, Lost in Translation.
7. -Historical: Historical is a sub-genre of Drama film that examines a specific time in history or
group of people. Many Historical films aim to portray true events and people. However, most
Historical films are only loosely based on these events and people. These films tend to focus on
the more glorified societies and people in history such as the Romans, specific Kings and Queens,
or important political figures.
Examples: 300, Frost/Nixon, Hotel Rwanda.
-Melodrama: Melodrama film is a sub-genre that appeals to the heightened emotions of the
audience. The plot and characters often are more unrealistic than those found in the traditional
drama film. Melodramas usually cater towards a female audience and tell a story that centers on
a great crisis and a heroic protagonist.
Examples: The Bridges of Madison County, Steel Magnolias, Sophie’s Choice.
-Period Piece: Period Piece is a sub-genre of Drama film that focuses on a specific time era. The
era in which the film is set adds not only to the plot, but to the characters and costumes as well.
A Period Piece films are often based on a novel. These films tend to have a longer run time than
Examples: Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, Romeo and Juliet.
8. -Political: Political drama film contains themes, characters, and a plot specifically about politics
and the political scene. The main protagonist is often at odds with the harsh reality of corruption
in politics. Many Political Dramas are based in fact but focus on exploring conspiracy theories.
Examples: Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Wag The Dog, The Manchurian Candidate.
-Romance: Romantic Drama film is a genre that explores the complex side of love. The plot
usually centers on an obstacle that is preventing love between two people. The obstacles in
Romantic Drama film can range from a family's disapproval, to forbidden love, to one's own
psychological restraints. Many Romantic Dramas end with the lovers separating because of the
enormity of the obstacle, the realization of incompatibility, or simply... fate.
Examples: Romantic Drama film include Titanic, Breakfast at Tiffany's, Dr. Zhivago.
-Tragedy: Tragedy Drama is a genre wherein the downfall of the character is caused by a flaw
within the character. While Tragedy Dramas sometime put the character in extraordinary
circumstances, this genre is really about the self-destructive behavior of the character. The flaws
of the character come to a head and ultimately result in death or other form of degradation.
Examples: American Beauty, Death of a Salesman, The Great Gatsby.
9. CODES AND CONVENTIONS FOR A ROMANCE DRAMA
The codes and conventions in media can be separated into 3 distinct groups -
- Technical (camera techniques & shots)
- Symbolic (ie clothing, colours)
- Written and audio (music etc)
10. CODES AND CONVENTIONS OF DRAMA
Systematically speaking Codes and conventions of drama films exhibits real life characters living in a intense social interaction, portraying
their journey and evolution, physical progress and improvement or vice-versa, the decadence.
Codes and conventions are focused on real life situations witch create a situation to emotionally affect the audience, the protagonist is
enrolling a journey of character development and realisation until the end of movie, easy to relate the auditorium to the film action,
using realistic settings and verisimilitude storyline, even a pragmatic guideline (guidance to appropriate behaviour). Dramas gives actors
an opportunity to stretch, transform and develop into a role that other genre wouldn't allow them to do.
Codes can be divided in two categories: technical (camera work, lighting) and symbolic (character's actions). Music can be technical and
symbolic. Is technical because needs audio techniques to create the right ambient and tone to match with the actor's emotion and film's
action becoming a symbol of this genre, like classic, sharp raw sound, dramatic music.
Conventions are alternative ways of presenting parts of a drama. The conventions (rules) are known by film-maker and actors to create
drama in film through actions, linked with characters dealing with emotional issues or facts like struggle, dilemmas which can conduct to
sad gestures, for example swearing, crying, arguing (even tragic sometimes) because dramas can focus on building up characters that
audience can engage with.
Common characters in drama films are the protagonist, the antagonist, the helper and best friend. The protagonist is the main character
in the film and is often exposed under trails, revealing bravery and determination to overcome evil (Will Hunting from Good Will Hunting
overcomes his psychical fears to let the past behind). The audience feels commiseration and affinity towards the protagonist. The
antagonist like Hannibal Lector from The silence of lambs prove a sick comportment or goes to extreme. Antagonists get what they want,
including hurting somebody, breaking the law or even killing. But rules can be broken and the bad or good character can transform into a
different person or redeemed his crimes, like in Crime and punishment, adaptation after Fyodor Dostoyesky novel, Raskolnokov is a
negative protagonist, is a killer who lives in Moscow tortured by his conscience. The helper or best friend is loyal to protagonist, often
has moral codes witch can be broken, in order to assist the protagonist to achieve triumph or to support the main character to find his
way in life, like Queenie from The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.