- Purchase/rental options available:
Film genre is used in the “everyday” description of films, as well as by professional intermediaries, such as critics, curators, and librarians. This article examines seven film genre vocabularies used to describe and organize motion picture collections from across the spectrum of environmental and functional contexts: genre lists from two streaming services, the list used for the International Movie Database, those genres included on the “film genres” page of Wikipedia, the “professional” vocabularies of three film institutes (in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia, respectively), as well as that developed by the Library of Congress, that is, its Library of Congress Genre/Form Terms (LCGFT), which covers films as well as other materials. The six nonlibrary genre vocabularies were mapped to the LCGFT, with degrees of alignment determined using a seven-point matching scale for each term. The most commonly mapped genres, as well as those that did not map to LCGFT at all, are identified and analyzed. Considerable nonalignment between most of the nonlibrary vocabularies and LCGFT was found; a range of likely factors involved is discussed, with the “professional” library and curatorial vocabularies not necessarily being more aligned. Various genres that did not map to LCGFT were suggested for possible inclusion.