Film Discussion Group (FDG)

1st & 3rd Saturdays 10am – 2pm


Tutor: Robin McGeehan

The FDG will now have an increased focus on the educational aspect of discussion around a selection of various films. Hopefully it will reflect the historical evolution of that medium. And will demonstrate the effect that film in general, has had both socially and culturally on society, per decade, over the last 100+ years 

The FDG usually meets every 1st 3rd and 5th Saturday at WOODEND and enjoys viewing and discussion around a selected film, with morning tea included. There is a 4-hour time frame each session (10.00-2.00). The reason for the long-time frame is to accommodate any movie/s exceeding 90min, which is the usual, approximate, running time of a movie.

A typical program will be as outlined below

10-15min talk on History/Evolution of film by Rob

10min introduction to selected film by the scheduled presenter                                                         

90min (flexible) film

10min critique/discussion on the film

Prior to each meeting some aspect associated with the production/editing/showing etc. of a film will be posted to this website under the heading “Tid Bits”



Clarify what it is that constitutes a theme and a genre?

It is important you understand these terms when discussing the aspects of a film-so to start let’s look at what is THE GENRE of a movie; –

What is a movie genre?

The internet gives this (rather obtuse) explanation, vis “… A film genre is a stylistic category where a particular movie can be paced based on the setting, characters, plot, mood, tone, and theme. A film’s main genre category will be based on where the majority of the content lands. A sub-genre is a smaller category that fits inside a particular genre. Often this is a mixture of two separate genres. Genres and sub-genres change over time and are informed by one another…”                                 

The internet lists what may be considered the “main” genre types-and as you may expect there are many sub types eg. “: Western/historical


  • Fantasy.
  • Science fiction.
  • Western.
  • Romance.
  • Thriller.
  • Mystery.
  • Detective story.
  • Dystopia
  • Comedy
  • Drama

So, what then is a theme (again, as distinct from a movie “plot”)?

The plot of the movie is the whole story being told by the movie, whereas the THEME (or themes) of the movie is what a specific story is about. For example, let’s consider the extraordinary stop-motion movie, Coraline, where the genre is dark fantasy and horror (and how!).

And the theme (or rather, themes) contained within “Coraline”?

1.Family: theme-how her parents and Coraline interact and the[rm1]  parents seeming indifference that drives Coraline (the subject of the movie) to put herself into “difficult” situations.

2.Courage: – theme-how Coraline displays tenacity and courage when dealing with an increasing, some may say, what we would consider to be an overwhelming “horror”

3. Home -theme: – that home, not matter how “boring” (Coraline’s initial reaction) is central to her security and ultimate well-being. At the beginning of Coraline, our heroine is bored at home: her parents are too busy for her, that the place where she lives is dull, and she has exhausted all the exploring there is to do. It takes being in a crazy and super scary alternate world to make Coraline realize just how much she appreciates her real home. The real world might be dull sometimes, but it’s home for Coraline. This is a common trope in literature and film. “There’s no place like home…”

There are more themes, but you get the idea and most importantly you will have gathered how important, are the various themes which allow the audience to empathise with the film.

(May I recommend you see Coraline-well worth taking the time to “enjoy”? this multi themed movie)

Ps. Its American so best with sub-titles!

Enjoy and Happy Christmas