Genre mismanagement

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  • Updated 6 months ago
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  • (Edited)
Poor genre judgements

Once again, I find myself entering the new year with great trepidation about how genre decisions are made.  Since IMDb's guidelines apparently DO NOT agree with other reliable sources (in this case, Variety), is seems that genre guidelines MUST be redefined OR the genre list manager must have his/her eyes opened.

Here are some examples of rejections that absolutely baffle me:

181231-151312-0320002018-12-31 15:13:12The Great Northfield Minnesota Raid (1972)
Keywords -  16 items added, 3 items corrected
Genres -  1 item added
181231-041102-8870002018-12-31 04:11:02The Souler Opposite (1998)
Keywords -  35 items added, 1 item deleted
Genres -  1 item added
181231-011727-0230002018-12-31 01:17:27Grind (1997)
Keywords -  13 items added, 2 items deleted
Genres -  1 item added
181231-010445-0740002018-12-31 01:04:45The Last Time I Committed Suicide (1997)
Keywords -  27 items added, 3 items corrected, 1 item deleted
Genres -  1 item added
181230-015623-7820002018-12-30 01:56:23Zero Effect (1998)
Keywords -  23 items added, 3 items deleted
Genres -  1 item added
181230-013133-1920002018-12-30 01:31:33Walking Tall (1973)
Keywords -  15 items added, 8 items corrected, 3 items deleted
Genres -  1 item added
181229-211526-6200002018-12-29 21:15:26It's My Party (1996)
Keywords -  30 items added, 1 item corrected, 1 item deleted
Genres -  2 items added
181229-190900-3610002018-12-29 19:09:00Bad Girls (1994)
Keywords -  19 items added, 4 items corrected, 1 item deleted
Genres -  1 item added

Some sort of logical explanation (if possible), would be appreciated.
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Bradley Kent

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Posted 6 months ago

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Vincent Fournols

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So IMDb does not agree with Variety in terms of genre definition. And I do not agree with IMDb for defining in what a "film noir" is.

But this is IMDb's site, complying with IMDb rules and definitions.


In your list, we cannot see why it baffles you as nobody can check your submissions and know what the rejected genre were.
(Edited)
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Will, Official Rep

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Hi Bradley Kent,

Do those submitted genres apply to the IMDb genre definitions? Have you seen the titles or is the genre submission based on the attached keyword data that you are auditing? If you have any links from Variety that can help us verify those submissions it would be much appreciated.

Regards,
Will
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Bradley Kent

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If there is a list of sacrosanct titles for which no new genres will be accepted, that list should be made knowable to the submitter so that we do not waste our time.
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Bradley Kent

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By the way, I have seen ALL of these eight titles.  Two -- The Great Northfield Minnesota Raid and It's My Party -- I have seen twice!
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Marco

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21 hours ago you said "I have seen some of the titles" but 12 hours ago you said "I have seen ALL of these eight titles". Which of these statements is true?

(By the way, I would advise against adding a genre if you haven't seen a particular title.)
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Bradley Kent

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The latter is true.  The previous statement was made without looking at the entire list.  Yes, I have seen all eight.  I was trying to correct the previous statement.
(Edited)
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Jeorj Euler

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Right. Usually a newer statement overrides an older statement.
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Will, Official Rep

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Hi Bradley Kent,

As explained previously the existence of a keyword on a title doesn't necessarily mean that an associated genre should be applied to the title as the title may still not meet the genre guidelines. Have you got any links to help us verify these genre submissions? We'll be happy to take a look.

Regards,
Will
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Bradley Kent

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Of course, a title should meet IMDb's genre guidelines. (All the eight titles DO, by the way.) But... " the existence of a keyword on a title doesn't necessarily mean that an associated genre should be applied to the title"?  Long ago, it was IMDb policy that certain keywords should be superseded by a particular genre, "i.e, the keyword "love-story" for the genre Romance, "life-story" or "biopic" for the genre Biography OR, in some specific cases, the keyword "fictional-biography" etc.  Are these previous standards no longer applicable?  It so, thousands (millions) of titles need their genres audited and probably changed.

Also, as has previously been discussed, in addition to my own viewings, I can substantiate these genres with Variety reviews. But "links" to those reviews are extremely expensive.  If IMDb has paid for that "links" archive with Variety, IMDb could probably access that service.  I cannot afford it.  I only have actual paper clippings.
(Edited)
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Bradley Kent

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So...

The Great Northfield Minnesota Raid should have BOTH Western and Drama as genres,  Look at the thousands of Westerns that ALSO have Drama as a genre, like High Noon (1952), Shane (1953), The Searchers (1956), and Jesse Hames films like Jesse James (1939) thru The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford  (2007).

One could logically argue, in fact, that ALMOST ALL titles should have Drama and/or Comedy as  genres.  Listen to the ancient Greeks, where it all began.

To not add Drama as a genre for The Great Northfield Minnesota Raid makes no sense at all.

(More to come...)
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Bradley Kent

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So...

The Souler Opposite (which I have also seen) should have both Comedy and Romance as genres. It is about a stand-up comic looking for his soulmate.  The Variety review (October 10, 1997) identified it as a "romantic comedy" "closer to a cloying 'thirthsomething' episode than to vintage Woody Allen."  The comic is "looking for the woman of his dreams" and has endless 'Was it good for you?' pillow talk."  It is about "the fatal fear of commitment," has "a feminist," a "'When Harry Met Sally' courtship," and is "a West Coast 'Manhattan'," with "overall optimism,"  That sure sounds like a Romance and Comedy to me -- and it is!

(More to come...)
(Edited)
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Bradley Kent

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So...

 Grind, which I have also seen, is, according to its April 3, 1986 Variety review, about ""stifling relationships" in which the characters "Eddie and Janey become romantically entangled," has a brother-brother-brother's wife "love triangle,"  that causes the character Terry "to painfully confront the dalliance under his nose."  All romances, as any experienced, non-naive person knows, DO NOT ALWAYS end happily!

(More to come...)
(Edited)
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Bradley Kent

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So...

The Last Time I Committed Suicide, which I have also seen, centers on Neal Cassady and his Beat Generation life.  As verified in the January 18, 1997 Variety review, It has TWO Romance storylines:  (1) Cassady has "a steady girlfriend" and "The two seem happy together, yet for some reason ... Joan tries to take her own life one day." Their "subsequently happy reunion is interrupted," but "Joan's 'return;' stirs her boyfriend's deep longing," and this reunion results in the "chance at long-term happiness seems shot." (2) a "Hollywood flashback" about "Neal's earlier romance with [a] precocious schoolgirl," whose "disapproving Mother ends that highly sexed involvement."  That's a "double-header" that makes this film ALSO a Romance.

(More to come...)
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Bradley Kent

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So...

Zero Effect, which I have also seen, has, as the January 6, 1998 Variety review admits, "a roller-coaster of ideas and tones" and is "idiosyncratic," but it is still also a Romance.  The review compares it to Grosse Point Blank, and notes "(Director Lawrence) Kasdan is most intrigued with the relationship" between the two lead characters (a detective and a female paramedic)."  "Both parties are presenting false fronts, so the attraction is skewed.  They offer versions of themselves that are designed to please.  Yet there is some internal truth they cannot disguise, which allows the dating period to continue and evolve."  (That sounds like a lot of romantic relationships to me!) The film, the review says,  has "a romantic slight-of-hand."

(More to come...)
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Bradley Kent

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So...

That Walking Tall (which I have also seen) should have Biography as a genre is the simplest call of all. It is, quite simply, a biography of Sheriff Buford Pusser.  The February 20, 1973 Variety review's first sentence says that it is "Based on the real-life tragedy and punishment visited upon a progressiveTennessee country sheriff."  Easy call.

(More to come...)
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Bradley Kent

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So...

It's My Party, which I have seen twice, should have BOTH Comedy and Romance as genres.  Perhaps it has been denied these genres because it is about death from AIDS and gay romance,  The first phrase of the January 11, 1996 Variety review says it is "Mixing comedy and sad drama." The main character has "a long-term relationship" with "his handsome lover."  There's a breakup, but also a reunion with the lover " who "apologize(s) for his misconduct and declare(s) anew his love" for the main character.  Their reunion, "the big scene... is emotionally effective.  Observing Brandon carrying Nick in his arms to his deathbed will reduce viewers to tears."  Also, "There are some wonderfully spontaneous and humorous episode," the review noted, with even minor characters "getting ... a bitchy one-liner."  Sounds to me like it is a Drama AND a Comedy AND a Romance.

(More to come...)
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Will, Official Rep

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Hi Bradley Kent,

That doesn't sound like a comedy according to our definitions, which are quite strict.

"Virtually all scenes should contain characters participating in humorous or comedic experiences. The comedy can be exclusively for the viewer, at the expense of the characters in the title, or be shared with them. Please submit qualifying keywords to better describe the humor (i.e. spoof, parody, irony, slapstick, satire, black-comedy etc). If the title does not conform to the 'virtually all scenes' guideline then please do not add the comedy genre; instead, submit the same keyword variations described above to signify the comedic elements of the title. Subjective."

Were virtually all scenes in the film comedic?
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Bradley Kent

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"Virtually all scenes" should be changed/deleted from the Comedy genre definition.  With "virtually all scenes," you are eliminating ALL Comedy/Drama, Comedy/Musical, Comedy/Western ,etc. combinations.  Why, there are even Bob Hope movie where "virtually all scenes" are NOT comedic!  How about "most," or "50%," or "40%," "many," etc. to accurately reflect the reality.

And, don't forget keywords like "situation comedy," "screwball comedy," etc., etc., etc., as well as "spoof, parody, irony, slapstick, satire, black-comedy etc." are, in reality, sub-genres for titles that already have Comedy as a genre.  Logically, it would also seem that any title that has these sub-genres should also have Comedy as a genre, unless it has the "-scene" addendum.
(Edited)
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Bradley Kent

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So...

Bad Girls, which I have also seen, needs the Action genre.  Perhaps it has been denied this because its main characters are female.  As the April 20, 1994 Variety review notes, it centers on "four comely cowgirls strapping on six guns and thundering across the plains" --a   "foxy foursome (who) mount up or square off against assorted bad boys."  Some of the action may be "mild," and some of the violence may be "toned down," but it still deserves the Action genre.

(No more to come at this point...)   
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Nikolay Yeriomin (Mykola Yeromin), Champion

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Well, it is already in a Western genre, which tells a lot, although, of course, Western is not always Action and vice versa. 
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Bradley Kent

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Yes.  But... it is also a "Drama" and not a "Comedy." etc.
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Ed Jones (XLIX)

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Submit a Contribution for all these mentioned above with the proof for each one as mentioned by Will, Official Rep.
The repetitive posts are non productive.
Do the legwork.
If and when they are rejected, start a new post for each submission asking why and if you believe the rejection to be incorrect provide the proof in each new post. You can combine several in a single post also.
You have made 7 "More to come" replies.
Without submission numbers references for each they can't be addressed.
Thanks,
Cheers.
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Bradley Kent

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Reference numbers are in the first post in this thread.  I have 8, not 7, replies, one each for the original submissions.

By the way, there is no longer a way to provide proof for submissions, except this board, since the Miscellaneous categories and explanation options have been removed.
(Edited)
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Will, Official Rep

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Hi Bradley Kent,

I've resubmitted the above based on your comments for each title apart from It's My Party, see direct comment referencing the genre guidelines for comedy.

Regards,
Will
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Bradley Kent

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Thanks.  I'll submit comic-relief as a keyword for It's My Party.  But Romance seems like an extremely valid genre.  Can it be added?
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Will, Official Rep

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Hi Bradley Kent,

Yes I've done so now.

Regards,
Will
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Bradley Kent

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Thanks, Will.  I really think that the Romance and Comedy genre definitions need to be revised so they are more representative of the realities.  I will continue to be diligent about future genre submissions.  Thanks, again.