THE MOVING IMAGE GENRE-FORM GUIDE
Sublists: Experimental, Animation, Advertising
Contents | Introduction | Examples | Bibliography | Genres
Appendices: Experimental | Animation | Advertising
This appendix is based on an original document prepared for the
National Moving Image Database by Linda Tadic, and adapted for
use here with permission
Work where the image (usually abstract) and the music are in a
Used for Visual music.
Examples: MOOD CONTRASTS; SAMAHDI; PERMUTATIONS
Work that fragments or otherwise present live objects so they
appear to be abstract.
See also Cubist.
Examples: TEXT OF LIGHT; H2O; LEAVES OF GLASS
Work that presents a specific political-social-economic agenda.
Used for Guerilla television.
Film examples: ONLY THE BEGINNING; THE NATIONAL HUNGER MARCH
Video examples: STOP THE CHURCH; FOUR MORE YEARS; GULF CRISIS
Work using the filmmaker as subject.
Film examples: TESTAMENT (1974); FILM PORTRAIT; (NOSTALGIA)
Video examples: WHY I GOT INTO TV AND OTHER STORIES; TRICK OR
Work that presents a city's landscapes and activities in an abstract
or impressionistic manner.
Film examples: BERLIN--DIE SYMPHONIE EINER GROSSTADT / BERLIN--
SYMPHONY OF A GREAT CITY; SAUSALITO
Work following the Cubist art movement aesthetic of fragmenting
objects and the human figure so they appear at times as abstract
images. Such work was made primarily in the 1920s.
See also Abstract live action.
Example: BALLET MECANIQUE
Work following the Dada art movement aesthetic of juxtaposing
seemingly nonsensical or unrelated images and vignettes, giving
the appearance of spontaneous thought without necessarily having
a deep "meaning." Such work often uses trick photography.
Work that uses footage of the filmmaker's daily existence with
long un-edited or in- camera edited sections.
Film examples: LOST, LOST, LOST; EUROPEAN DIARY '78; CHARMED PARTICLES
Video example: WEATHER DIARY NO. 5
Work that presents a feminist critique of social and/or political-economic
Film examples: SCHMEERGUNTZ; LIE BACK AND ENJOY IT
Video examples: A MAN'S WOMAN; SEMIOTICS OF THE KITCHEN
Works made by gay or lesbian filmmakers in which the content reflects
concerns associated with gay and/or lesbian life.
Examples: AN INDIVIDUAL DESIRES SOLUTION; GENTLY DOWN THE STREAM
Guerilla television see Activist
Work where a discernible image within a frame appears intermittently
between sections of black or white leader, creating a "flicker" effect.
Examples: N:O:T:H:I:N:G; THE FLICKER
Work in which the subject is a landscape or specific non-urban
Film examples: THE SKY ON LOCATION; FOGLINE; SEVEN DAYS
Video example: SOMBRA A SOMBRA
Work composed of a long piece of film spliced end to end so it
runs through a projector or other apparatus for a potentially infinite
length of time.
Examples: BRUSSELS LOOPS; INVOCATIONS OF CANYONS AND BOULDERS
FOR STAN BRAKHAGE
A term used by P. Adams Sitney to describe films that present
the subjective eye of the filmmaker: the viewer sees what the filmmaker
sees. There is a feeling of gestural motion created by the camera
movements and also through the editing.
Examples: VISUAL VARIATIONS ON NOGUCHI; ANTICIPATION OF THE NIGHT;
VALENTIN DE LAS SIERRAS
Work based on an event that requires audience and/or technician
participation, in which the viewer's behavior determines the image
or sound content of the work.
Film examples: LINE DESCRIBING A CONE; PROJECTION INSTRUCTIONS
Video Examples: MEM; ST. ELMO'S FIRE
Work that can be evocative of an individual, rather than strictly
Examples: ALLISON; RED SHIFT; MUJER DE MILFUEGOS / WOMAN OF A
Work that uses motion picture history for their subjects, or films
that are films about themselves.
Film examples: LUMIERE'S TRAIN (ARRIVING AT THE STATION); 24 FRAMES
Video examples: GLOBAL GROOVE; TELEVISION DELIVERS PEOPLE
"Street videos" or "street tapes" were born and thrived during
the late 1960s to mid-1970s. The style consisted of hand-held camerawork
(1/2 in. reel portapaks) using only available light. The content
of "street" videos concentrated on spontaneous interviews with
people from all walks of life, in streets, workplaces, and in the
Video examples: LIFESTYLES: AN EXPERIMENT IN FEEDBACK
Work that concentrates on form rather than content. The work may
base its structure on an exaggerated aspect of motion picture technique
(for example, a 40 minute slow zoom or an eight hour stationary
shot of the Empire State Building), or on viewers' relationships
with the cinematic apparatus.
Note: Use Reflexive for work that uses the medium and technique
as its subject.
Examples: WAVELENGTH; SERENE VELOCITY; ARNULF RAINER
Work following the Surrealist art movement aesthetic of allowing
the subconscious to make free associations with images and content.
Surrealist work is similar to Dada in that at times both juxtapose
seemingly nonsensical images and vignettes, giving the appearance
of spontaneity. However, while Dada is rooted in visual and verbal "puns" used
for the sake of their own enjoyment and absurdity, Surrealist work
use this technique to explore social and political issues.
Examples: THE SEASHELL AND THE CLERGYMAN; L'AGE D'OR / THE GOLDEN
Work whose primary images consist of text.
Film example: SECONDARY CURRENTS
Video example: TELEVISION DELIVERS PEOPLE
A term used by P. Adams Sitney in describing films that have a
protagonist "who passes invisibly among people," archetypal images,
and ends with the protagonist confronting their past.
Film examples: AT LAND; BLOOD OF A POET
Visual music see Absolute
Type of animation without narrative, concentrating on abstract
Examples: DIAGONAL SYMPHONY; MOTION PAINTING NO. 5 (1947)
Type of animation in which the images are drawn directly on the
film stock, rather than photographed.
Examples: BEGONE DULL CARE
Cartoon use Animation (with the form Short)
CGI see Computer animation
Type of animation which generally uses plasticine or clay, such
as the "Claymation" work of Will Vinton or the Wallace and Gromit
Examples: THE ADVENTURES OF MARK TWAIN (1985); CREATURE COMFORTS;
THE WRONG TROUSERS
Collage animation see Cutout animation
Type of animation which may combine live action and animated imagery,
such as the "Out of the Inkwell" series.
Examples: FLIES / KOKO SWATS 'EM; THE THREE CABALLEROS; VYNALEZ
ZKAZY / AN INVENTION OF DESTRUCTION / THE FABULOUS WORLD OF JULES
VERNE; WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT
Type of animation in which the visuals are composed predominantly
of computer- generated imagery.
Used for CGI.
Feature examples: TOY STORY; TRON
Type of animation using still photos and cut-outs to form a collage.
Used for Collage animation.
Examples: FRANK FILM; HEAVEN AND EARTH MAGIC; SOPHIE'S PLACE;
FIRST ABSTRACT FILM EXERCISE (1949); UNE IDEE / L'IDEE / THE IDEA
Intermittent animation see Experimental
Pinboard animation see Pinscreen animation
Type of animation created with the use of an upright board containing
closely placed protruding pins that create shadow designs.
Examples: NIGHT ON BALD MOUNTAIN (1934)
Type of animation which generally uses humans or other live subjects
filmed incrementally in various fixed poses, creating an unnatural
or surreal effect when played back at normal speed.
Examples: NEIGHBORS (1952)
Sand animation see Silhouette animation
Type of animation using intricately cut-out paper figures silhouetted
with backlighting. Variations of the technique use backlit sand
or other materials.
Used for Sand animation.
Examples: DIE ABENTEUER DES PRINZEN ACHMED / THE ADVENTURES OF
PRINCE ACHMED; THE CLOWN AND HIS DONKEY; THE GALLANT LITTLE TAILOR;
SHAKA NO SHAGAI / THE LIFE OF BUDDHA
Type of animation filming live action one frame at a time at periodic
intervals, then projecting the footage at the usual 24 frames per
Work which promotes a company or industry, usually by detailing
noteworthy accomplishments, but does not actually promote a product
or service. Such work is typically commercial-length, from 10 seconds
to 3 minutes.
Note: Use Sponsored for works of greater length.
Examples: ARCHER DANIELS MIDLAND; GENERAL ELECTRIC
Work promoting a product or service that usually lasts at least
30 min. An infomercial uses elements of television shows such as
a talk show or a panel so that it will resemble the format of a
television show more than that of a commercial.
Examples: VICTORIA JACKSON COSMETICS
Work which promotes certain candidates, political parties, or
political views, varying in length from short commercials (a few
minutes or less) to longer programs lasting an hour or more.
Used for Political spot.
Work which promotes a network or promotes a particular television
Work which promotes certain charitable causes or types of behavior,
such as promoting contributions to the American Cancer Society,
encouraging girls to join the Girl Scouts, urging people on the
behalf of The U.S. Treasury Department to purchase savings bonds,
or encouraging people on behalf of the American Dairy Association
to drink milk.