Inconsistencies in Motion Picture Genres

Close readers will no doubt know about my endless writing about film genres. But because I was using Netflix’s genres for Emflix — I hadn’t dived as deep into LCSH’s representation of film genres.

The other day though, I noticed something odd:

When looking at the hierarchy, i.e. BTs and NTs of various film genres you will probably end up landing at

Motion pictures

at some point. It has about a million NTs for every “X in motion pictures” under the sun.

Accents and accentuation in motion pictures
Accountants in motion pictures
Accounting in motion pictures
Acculturation in motion pictures

But it also has many genre-forms of motion pictures as NTs. This isn’t a problem, and this has nothing to do with 655 vs. 650 or about-ness vs. is-ness. I’m just pointing out an odd hierarchy thing.

So while ‘Motion pictures’ has NTs which include:

Action and adventure films
Animated films
Comedy films
Disaster films

I want to draw your attention to two in particular: ‘Fiction films’ and ‘Nonfiction films’

Nonfiction films has NTs of ‘Documentary films’ a major genre you would’ve missed if you only looked at the NTs of ‘Motion pictures’

But it’s fiction films that has the oddity — it has one and only one NT:

Haunted house films

While I give you that all haunted house films are fiction films, it’s certainly not the only one that has to be fiction! What about ‘Science fiction films’? It has fiction right in the name! What about Fantasy films? What about peplum films?

Why only Haunted house films?


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