Exploding Genre (2016, dir. Dann Binns) opens with a confident Dan Binns introducing a class to his new studio. With a smirk, Binns promises movie references throughout the semester and outlines the course; 4 projects, ranging from video to audio to a little photography. The excitement amongst the students is palpable, yet there exists a wave of nervousness slowly spreading across the room. From a 2 minute audio piece to a 10 minute polished short film? The students know this studio will push them to their limits, but isn’t that why they picked it in the first place? This scene exists as crucial foreshadowing for the rollercoaster of weeks to come.
Having not experienced any of Binn’s previous works (apart from a few short, introductory run ins in Intro to Cinema in semester 1) I was unsure how this class would operate. The studio guide provided hints but could not completely capture the essence of the classroom. Exploding genre how? Who would we explode genre with? What would we use as explosives? The answer turned out to be our collective brains, filled and to-be filled with film knowledge and insight. Debates were informative and calm and the class seemed to fit amongst each other nicely. Big and small name genres were exploded equally; the crown jewel of these the bottle drama, a hopeful classification spawned from the mind of Binns himself.
This creation received as much an explosion as many already established genres before it – deserving, in my opinion – as many students aimed their exegesis towards unpacking what really constituted a bottle drama and where its many roots lie. Approaching the final weeks the class became a silent battlefront for idea-sparring and intensive research and in the end the commitment of these students guaranteed a nuclear-scale genre explosion. Binns should be proud of his efforts to continue to activate genre theory; I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for whatever comes next. 5 out of 5 stars. #aliensismorethanjustscifi
My second favourite piece (by default; copyrighted work ain’t allowed, sorry PB4):