Sound easy? Well it is! Genre analysis is done in three steps.
1 Define the corpus.
That is, agree on a group of films that you think are ‘pure’ example of the genre.
This definition may be done in combination with secondary research.
So: Fantasy Corpus:
- Lord of the Rings
- Harry Potter
2 Decide what features of those films are conventional in terms of their genre.
This means agreeing on a Repertoire of Elements, which are similar across the corpus and indeed necessary for a film to be given a genre label. In this case ‘Fantasy Film’.
- That means agreeing some ball park rules or a conventional features. A theorist Nick Lacey gives these broad topics to focus your analysis.
An Example analysis of the fantasy genre
3 Analyse your text using those defined conventions
Once you’ve defined those conventions, you need to consider how far your film is similar and/or different compared to those conventional features.
So, after all that, your film focus genre question becomes…
What are the generic conventions of a given genre and how similar and/or different is a given film?