Juan:'What are your favourite genres of movies?'
Peter:'I like a lot of different types of movies. I like war movies. Movies whose main story/subject is about war and how it affects people. My favourite war movies are Saving Private Ryan and The Great Escape. They are both classic 'war movies'.
I also watch a lot of action movies. Movies where danger and action (like people fighting, car chases, climbing etc...) are very important parts of the storyline. There's nothing better than to go to the cinema and watch a film like Die Hard or Terminator. And you? What genres do you like to watch?'
Juan:'I like action movies as well. But I prefer to watch movies where there is some action but also the main characters are on journey in some exotic and strange places to explore or discover some treasure or save somebody.'
Peter:'You've just described adventure movies. I love them too. My favourite adventure movies are the Indiana Jones movies and The Lord of the Rings movies.'
Juan:'But I wouldn't call The Lord of the Rings movies 'adventure movies'. I think their genre is fantasy movies. Because they are set in an imaginary world where there is magic and imaginary creatures. Fantasy movies, normally have wizards, dragons and other magical creatures in them.'
Peter:'You're right that the The Lord of the Rings movies are fantasy movies. But they can also be called adventure movies as well. They are on a quest to destroy the evil ring and on their journey there is some action and they explorer lots of new places. Most films can be described under two or more different genres/types.'
Juan:'That's makes sense. Are movies about or contain vampires, ghosts, devils etc... called fantasy movies then? Because they are imaginary creatures.'
Peter:'No, they are not. Because they are not magical creatures like dragons, elves, dwarves, but unexplained phenomenon, objects or creatures. And as these films are normally set in the real world, they are called supernatural movies. Movies like The Exorcist and The Shinning are examples of supernatural movies. And some people call movies with vampires in them, supernatural movies as well.'
Juan:'But movies/film with ghosts and vampires can also be called horror movies, can't they?'
Peter:'They can be, but horror movies are movies whose main purpose is to scare or frighten you either physically or emotionally. So both The Exorcist and The Shining can be called both horror movies (because they are frightening) and supernatural movies (because they have ghosts or devils in them). But a film like Twilight isn't, because its main purpose isn't to frighten you. There are many horror movies which don't have supernatural forces in them, like Saw and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.'
Juan:'I love science fiction movies too. Movies which explore how the future and future technology and science will have an affect on our lives. Star Wars, Avatar and Alien are my favourite Sci-Fi movies of all-time.'
Peter:'I like Sci-Fi as well. Especially when the movies are about aliens and space.'
Juan:'I also like period dramas. Films which are set in the past and tell you about how people used to live. I really liked Titanic, Sense and Sensibility and Lincoln.'
Peter:'But isn't Lincoln about part of the real life of a real person, Abraham Lincoln?'
Juan:'Yes, it's about the last weeks of his life before he was assassinated.'
Peter:'When a movie's story is about the life of a real person, they are called biographical movies. Movies like The Social Network or Amadeus are biographical movies or as they are sometimes called 'biopics'. I suppose that Lincoln is in both genres (a period drama and a biopic), because the story is about a real person and it's set in the 19th century.'
Juan:'Another genre that I love to watch are films where the story is about gangsters, crime or the police. Crime movies like Goodfellas, Seven or The French Connection.'
Peter:'They are good. But I prefer movies about crime where the focus is more on the law and the lawyers who are trying save or convict somebody in court.'
Juan:'Do you mean courtroom dramas? Movies like Philadelphia, 12 Angry Men where a lot of the story happens in court?'
Peter:'Yeah, those types of films. I have a question. What is the difference between a drama and a thriller? Nobody has ever been able explain to me clearly what the difference is.'
Juan:'These genres are different styles in which the story in a movie is told. A drama is where the story in a movie/film is told in a more serious, emotional and realistic way. For example, Philadelphia, The Shawshank Redemption or The King's Speech are examples of dramas.
In a thriller, the style of the story is less realistic and it's more focused on keeping people very excited about what's going to happen next (there's lots of danger, tension and suspense). Most of the movies of Alfred Hitchcock like Vertigo, Psycho etc... are examples of thrillers.'