Genre Study: Pick Your Own

Make a keynote presentation (or write a 4-6 page paper), which explores commonalities of form and content in 3 or more films in a film genre of your choosing. At least one of the films should be a classic of its genre, and at least one should be a modern or postmodern remaking of that genre.

In order to understand the workings of a particular genre, you will need to do some background research:

  • read about all the genres in your text book and then choose one of the genres to study. Use the text book as a guide to choosing films for your project.
  • You can also consult for more suggestions of genres and subgenres. It’s a good site for suggesting both genres and movies that fit those genres.
  • if your chosen genre is Western, Film Noir, The Combat Film, or Romantic comedy, then watch the 55-minute documentary on that genre from 100 Years of American Cinema. I can loan you a copy.
  • read reviews of the films you plan to watch by searching “external reviews” for those films on the Internet Movie Database (imdb) or at
  • find out about that genre through independent research on the web. Start with two website which are often good sources for film: and They both have articles on each film genre. And explore from there.
  • read one or more articles chosen or approved by me to supplement your genre study.

Your presentation or paper should:

1. Define the genre, and discuss what is typical of it.

2.  discuss (with clips) your three films as examples of the genre.

3. Make connections with your readings by using at least 3 different quotations.