Blog de Sonia García López
This is a third-year elective course corresponding to the bilingüal Bachelor in Film, Television, and Media Studies of Carlos III University. The aim of the course is to examine the nature of genre from a historical, theoretical and analytic perspective. To do so, it offers a broad perspective of the most important approaches to film genre theory, as well as to the history and problems of the main film genres, departing from their privileged modes: comedy and melodrama.
Furthermore, this course aims at providing a broad knowledge on the hybridizing processes affecting Hollywood models in different contexts, taking into account the development of alternative formulas. Accordingly, we will study the history of genre both as a critical and a scholarly concept, as well as its developments as a cinematic form taking the topic of ‘Nazism in film’ as a case study.
By considering how Nazism has been represented in a variety of film genres since the eve of World War II, we will understand that film genre can be approached both as an ideological form, conveying ideas on race, class, gender, and sexuality (and is thus susceptible of being studied as an alienating form), and as a form of entertainment which engages the audience to the pleasant experience of being subject to some sort of ritual. Moreover, the study on the evolution of the representation of Nazism on the screen will stress the idea that film genres should be considered within their specific historical frame in order to be understood as cinematic forms subjected not only to semantic features established by genre typologies or encyclopaedias, but also to the cultural forces that produce meaning in a specific period. This way, we will ensure that the students get competence to analyze and discuss the cultural, social and economic functions of film genres, and of their historical evolution in different settings.
Accordingly, we will devote two lectures to examine genre from a theoretical point of view, considering both its literary roots and its inception in cinema. A third lecture will introduce the representation of Nazism on the screen, while the remaining four lectures will focus on a variety of genres that will be studied through case studies related to the representation of Nazism (anti-nazi comedy, holocaust melodrama, nazisploitation, ect.).