Genre is a French word that means sort or style. (, 2016) It can be a style or a specific type of art, film, music or writing. Genre is important in art because it uses commonly recognised signs or elements to enable the audience to understand the story.

IMDb website divides films into 22 genres including action, comedy, drama, romance, thriller and so on.

Figure 1: Film Genres (Source: IMDb, 2016)

As showed on the screenshot, popular genres can be divided again into sub-genres. Nowadays, boundaries between genres are not necessarily clear. For example, an Action film at the same time could be a Comedy.

Figure 2: Spy (source: 20th Century Fox, 2016)

Spy is a film belongs to more than one genre. It is a story about CIA analyst Susan Cooper going deep undercover. All the elements such as secret agents, weapons and dangerous gunfight suggest that it is an exciting action film, but at the same time things keep going wrong in the story, which makes it a hilarious comedy.

I walked into a cinema and randomly picked this film. I looked at the name and expected a serious story-telling style, but soon surprised by it and laughed with all the other audience till the end of the film. Putting contradictory elements together breaks the conventional rules of story-telling, and I think it somehow uses the Epic Theatre method, as mentioned in the previous article about Deadpool and visual sequence. Epic theatre works to distance the audience from the story and make them think. It may not always be a good way of communication, but I think it is always good to explore.

References (2016) What is Genre? – Definition & Types. Available at: (Accessed: 10/05/2016)


Figure 1. Film Genres. IMDb. (2016) Most Popular by Genre. [Screenshot] Available at: (Accessed: 10/05/2016)

Figure 2. (2016) Spy. 20th Century Fox. (2016) Spy. [Image] Available at: (Accessed: 10/05/2016)