Genre Essay Assignment

Select one (1) American feature-length fiction film which has not been screened in class* and was released between 1930 and 2019.

Addressing myth and at least two (2) additional points, concretely argue for a clear genre designation (western, horror, etc.) with specific details from the film.

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Addressing myth and at least two (2) additional points, concretely argue for a clear genre period classification (classical, modernist or postmodernist) with specific details from the film.

Be sure your submission is between 1200 and 1400 words of analysis.

Though you cannot analyze films screened in class, we have provided information about 3 films and their genre and genre period classification. For example, after reading course materials and viewing / hearing the lectures, you should all be able to easily write a discussion arguing for Frankenstein (1931) as a classical horror film by locating the film both within the horror genre and the genre period. Your discussion would use specific information from the film and directly address the film’s treatment of the myth of the genre. Or a discussion on Night of the Living Dead (1968) as a modern horror film. Or a discussion arguing for Shaun of the Dead (2004) as a postmodern horror film.

Support your decision regarding genre and period classification with specific course material (lectures, lecture outlines and assigned readings from Schatz, Cawelti, Jameson, and Barsam). This is not a research essay so make only sparing use of secondary sources — and these secondary sources should be course materials (rather than webpages). This assignment is a critical analysis and not a review of the film or a record of your impressions.

Be sure to concretely address the film’s aesthetics in explaining your reasons for the labels (genre conventions and genre period). Focus on relevant material and rely on the lectures, lecture outlines and readings. For example, you should not spend any time, energy, or words stating that a film is classical simply because it is in black and white. Such a claim is not relevant or true (thousands of classical films are in color). And many modernist and postmodernist films are in black and white.

* films screened in class this semester: Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey, Black Panther, Dr. Strangelove, Frankenstein, Get Out, How to Train Your Dragon: the Hidden World, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Night of the Living Dead, Shaun of the Dead, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Thank You for Smoking, When Harry Met Sally, Wonder Woman.

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