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Shifty and Genre

Thinking about the genre of a film requires us to think about the elements that any group of films have in common. These elements might be the types of character, settings, mise en scène or themes. What is typical or conventional to these films is a helpful way to begin classifying films in terms of genre.

Genres change and develop over time. One of the major factors that inform these changes is audience taste. From this point of view how can we begin to consider Shifty from the point of view of genre? Over recent years a number of films have been made that we might consider as similar to Shifty or, at least, having some shared characteristics.

Below are some film titles. See if you can think of others to add to this list.

  • Kidulthood
  • Life and Lyrics
  • A Way of Life
  • Sweet 16

What do the films have in common? Think about:

  • Representation - Are the character types what you expected? Do you see any of them as stereotypical?
  • Setting - Is this typical? What other setting might work?
  • Mise en scène - How does this work to confirm a sense of realism?
  • Themes - What kinds of narrative strands would you expect to be explored in these kinds of films?

Is there anything else you can think of that might be considered conventional?

Mid-shot of Shifty, an adolescent male, sat is in a bus shelter.