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Cinema Genre

RaphaŽlle Moine, Hilary Radner (Translated by), Alistair Fox (Translated by)
ISBN: 978-1-4443-0127-4
272 pages
January 2009, Wiley-Blackwell
Cinema Genre (1444301276) cover image


Genre – or 'type' – is a core concept in both film production and the history of film. Genres play a key role in how moviegoers perceive and rate films, and is likely to determine a film's production values and costs.

Written in a clear, engaging, jargon-free style, this volume offers a cutting-edge theoretical overview of the topic of genre as practiced in British, American and French film criticism. Organized by a series of simple but fundamental questions, the book uses numerous examples from classic Hollywood cinema (the western, drama, musical comedy, and film noir) as well as some more contemporary examples from European or Asian cinema that are so often neglected by other studies in the field. How do we characterize genre and what are its various functions? In what ways does genre give a film its identity? How do genres emerge? What is the cultural significance of genre and how does it circulate within and across national boundaries? Informative and user-friendly, Moine’s book is accessible to general readers and adapts easily to a wide range of teaching approaches.

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Table of Contents

Translators’ Note.

Foreword by Janet Staiger.


1. In the Genre Jungle.

Cinematic Genre. An Empirical Category.

Every Use Has Its Own Typology.

An Impossible Typology?.

2. Looking for the Rules of Genre.

Looking for Genre’s Formal Rules.

Genre: An Intertextual Phenomenon.

In Search of the Structures of Genre.

Semantic-Syntactic Definitions of Genre.

3. What Is the Purpose of Genres?.

A Production Tool.

The Social Functions of Genre.

The Communicative Function of Genre.

4. The Generic Identities of a Film.

The Relations Between Film and Genre.

The Uses of Generic Identity.

The Mixing of Genres: Pluri-generic Attributes.

5. How to Conceptualize the History of a Genre?.

To Put an End to the Theory of Generic Evolution.

The Birth of a Cinematic Genre.

Hybridization and Mutation of Genres.

6. Genres in Context.

Cultural Identity and the Circulation of Genres.

Generic Regimes.


Select Bibliography.



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Author Information

Raphaëlle Moine is Professor of Cinema Studies at Université Paris X-Nanterre.

Hilary Radner is Professor of Film and Media Studies at the University of Otago.

Alistair Fox is Professor of English at the University of Otago.

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“This is a sharp and incisive book on film genre … .Moine brings a great deal of fresh insight to her discussion of the mechanics of genre movies in this tight, ably translated little volume, which includes a deft introduction from Janet Staiger. Moine has something absolutely new to say, and her book stands out in a crowded field. It is accessible yet elegantly theoretical, and superbly written and researched. Highly recommended.” (Choice Reviews, December 2008)

"In Cinema Genre, Raphaëlle Moine achieves a rare feat - brilliantly synthesizing the rich field of Anglo-American work on genre, she both refreshes and extends it through French rigour and crystal-clear methodology. An essential read for all film scholars."
Ginette Vincendeau, Professor of Film Studies at King's College, London

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