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Paper Topic:

Film and Media studies. Genre theory and audience expectations.

Film Genre and system of expectations


I regard Marlyn Brando to be one of the best actors . His character in The

Godfather ' was just marvelous

What was so marvelous about him in that film ?

The way he emotes , speaks his dialogues .his face is full of expressions yet

expressionless '

Richard Attenborough may have won Oscars for his film `Gandhi , but those who

have known , studied and followed Gandhiji 's path , would surely agree that would be

unanimous in

the fact that nobody can ever make a film on Gandhiji . His personality

was so vast , that it cannot be encapsulated , in a story line of two and half hours

Surprisingly many aspects of his life and teaching are left untouched in the film '

These two hypothetical dialogues , constitute the heart of this essay . The importance of

the expectations and the hopes of the audience

This essay revolves around the central idea that the Genre does not only consist of

films , but has to take into account the expectations of the audience also . Steve Neale 's

ideas on the `system of expectations ' are discussed


A genre is a division of particular form of art , or utterance according to criteria

particular to that form . In all art forms , genres are vague categories with no fixed

boundaries . Genres are formed by sets of conventions , and many works cross into

multiple genres by way of borrowing and recombining these conventions (Genre , wiki

In film theory , genre refers to the primary method of film categorization . A `genre

generally refers to films , that share similarities in narrative elements from which they are

constructed . ( Film genre , wiki

Let us go to the very foundation of film making . Why are films produced at all ? A

very deep thought reveals that films are being produced to allow the viewer to identify

his own self . In other words , the viewer wants to identify himself with the film he is

watching . As Steve Neale puts it , Genres do not only consist of films : they consist also

and equally , of specific systems of expectation and hypothesis that spectators bring with

them to the cinema and that interact with films themselves during the course of viewing

process . They help render films , and the elements within them intelligible and therefore

explicable (Benjamin Woo , The fourth state

Does film genre , with respect to the expectations of the viewer , always make a

meaning within the film ? As Peter Hutchings puts it , The horror genre has proved to

be the most consistent and the most disreputable of all the mainstream film genres . Since

early 1930s , there has never been a time when horror films were not being produced in

substantial numbers . a horror film the reason for horror 's disreputability and seeks to

explain why horror has been so successful ' Horror is a genre which has a distinct

viewer ship , and audience which does not have the `system of expectations ' for horror...

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