Discussion Questions: Neale, “Genre Theory”
1. What are the two kinds of theories about genre that Neale has identified here? How are they different?
2. What is Neale concerned with in this review of traditional genre theories?
3. p. 208: How do characters in biopics fit into a traditional idea about character as an element of genre?
4. p. 209: Why is the narrative pattern of social problem films “less fixed” than in other genres?
5. Note what Neale discusses regarding generic self-consciousness: does this also apply to MOW docudrama? Is self-consciousness there accomplishing similar functions?
6. p. 214: Note the comments here on the cyclical resurgence of genres: does this pertain to the recent distributions of biopics?
7. p. 217: with regard to semantic and syntactic theories of genre: can genre be more of a matter of expressive process? Does this blur the distinction between genre and mode?
8. How does the discussion of determinate and indeterminate space help, if at all, with traditional docudramatic genres such as the biopic and the social problem film?