This book is a lively and provoking introduction to film theory. It is suitable for students from any discipline but is particularly aimed at students studying film and literature as it examines issues common to both subjects such as realism, illusionism, narration, point of view, style, semiotics, psychoanalysis and multiculturalism. It also includes coverage of theorists common to both, Barthes, Lacan and Bakhtin among others. Robert Stam, renowned for his clarity of writing, will also include studies of cinema specialists providing readers with a depth of reference not generally available outside the field of film studies itself. Other material covered includes film adaptations of works of literature and analogies between literary and film criticism.
European Film Theory explores the ‘Europeanness’ of European film theory, its philosophical origins, the ‘culture wars’ between ‘Continental’ and ‘Analytical’ film theory and philosophy, the major discursive and epistemological shifts in the history of Continental film theory, the relationship between Continental philosophy of art and philosophy of history and European film theory. Writing from a range of disciplines and perspectives, the contributors to this new volume in the AFI FILM READERS series offer fresh interpretations of European film theorists and illuminate the political potential of European film theory.
"...[A]uthoritative, always engaged, and grounded in the detailed study of well chosen films. This is an exceptionally useful introduction, and good to read." Professor James Donald, The University of New South Wales, Australia This engaging and accessible book explores major debates in contemporary film theory, providing a detailed introduction to the central arguments advanced by film theorists since the 1960s. What is Film Theory? outlines the discipline's key theoretical concepts, perspectives, and traditions, and critically examines the assertions posited by exemplary film theorists and philosophers of film. A step-by-step approach to these issues guides the reader through the central topics of film theory. Beginning with a discussion of structuralism and semiotics, and moving through debates on psychoanalysis, feminism, Screen theory, and cultural studies, the authors then examine the perspectives of 'post-theory', cognitivism, and historical poetics, as well as recent developments such as audience research and the 'cinema of attractions'. Analysis of the major theories is supported with detailed and wide-ranging case studies of particular films, including Singin' in the Rain, The Searchers, Tout va bien, Jaws, Do the Right Thing, Brokeback Mountain, and Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. These case studies are accompanied by a series of illustrative film and production stills. What is Film Theory? is indispensable reading for all students of Film and Media Studies, as well as for general readers interested in the debates which have defined film theory.
Philosophy, and in particular continental philosophy, has provided a conceptual underpinning for cinema since its beginnings, especially in the development of cinematic aesthetics. In its turn, film has rethought the abstractions of space and time and the categories of sex and gender and has created new concepts which illuminate phenomenology, metaphysics and epistemology. "Film and Philosophy" brings together leading scholars to provide a detailed overview of the key thinkers who have shaped the field of film philosophy. The thinkers include continental and 'post-continental' philosophers, analytic philosophers, film-makers, film reviewers, sociologists, and cultural theorists.The essays reveal how philosophy can be applied to film analysis and how film can be used to illustrate philosophical problems. But more importantly, the essays explore how film has shaped what philosophy thinks and how philosophy has lead to a reappraisal of film. The book will prove an invaluable reference and guide to readers interested in a deeper understanding of the issues and insights presented by film philosophy." Film and Philosophy" includes essays on: Hugo Munsterberg, Vilem Flusser, Siegfried Kracauer, Theodor Adorno, Antonin Artaud, Henri Bergson, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Emmanuel Levinas, Andre Bazin, Roland Barthes, Serge Daney, Jean-Luc Godard, Stanley Cavell, Jean-Luc Nancy, Jacques Derrida, Gilles Deleuze, Sarah Kofman, Paul Virilio, Jean Baudrillard, Jean-Francois Lyotard, Fredric Jameson, Felix Guattari, Raymond Bellour, Christian Metz, Julia Kristeva, Laura Mulvey, Homi Bhabha, Slavoj Zizek, Stephen Heath, Alain Badiou, Jacques Ranciere, Leo Bersani, Giorgio Agamben, and Michel Chion.
Concepts in Film Theory is a continuation of Dudley Andrew's classic, The Major Film Theories. In writing now about contemporary theory, Andrew focuses on the key concepts in film study -- perception, representation, signification, narrative structure, adaptation, evaluation, identification, figuration, and interpretation. Beginning with an introductory chapter on the current state of film theory, Andrew goes on to build an overall view of film, presenting his own ideas on each concept, and giving a sense of the interdependence of these concepts. Andrew provides lucid explanations of theories which involve perceptual psychology and structuralism; semiotics and psychoanalysis; hermeneutics and genre study. His clear approach to these often obscure theories enables students to acquire the background they need to enrich their understanding of film -- and of art.
For the past twenty-five years, cinema has been a vital terrain on which feminist debates about culture, representation, and identity have been fought. This anthology charts the history of those debates, bringing together the key, classic essays in feminist film theory. Feminist Film Theory maps the impact of major theoretical developments on this growing field-from structuralism and psychoanalysis in the 1970s, to post-colonial theory, queer theory, and postmodernism in the 1990s. Covering a wide range of topics, including oppressive images, "woman" as fetishized object of desire, female spectatorship, and the cinematic pleasures of black women and lesbian women, Feminist Film Theory is an indispensable reference for scholars and students in the field. Contributors include Judith Butler, Carol J. Clover, Barbara Creed, Michelle Citron, Mary Ann Doane, Teresa De Lauretis, Jane Gaines, Christine Gledhill, Molly Haskell, bell hooks, Claire Johnston, Annette Kuhn, Julia Lesage, Judith Mayne, Tania Modleski, Laura Mulvey, B. Ruby Rich, Kaja Silverman, Sharon Smith, Jackie Stacey, Janet Staiger, Anna Marie Taylor, Valerie Walkerdine, and Linda Williams.
Anna Kornbluh provides an overview of Marxist approaches to film, with particular attention to three central concepts in Marxist theory in general that have special bearing on film: “the mode of production,” “ideology,” and “mediation.” In explaining how these concepts operate and how they have been used and misused in film studies, the volume employs a case study to exemplify the practice of Marxist film theory. Fight Club is an exceptionally useful text with which to explore these three concepts because it so vividly and pedagogically engages with economic relations, ideological distortion, and opportunities for transformation. At the same time, it is a very typical film in terms of the conditions of its production, its marketing, and its popularity. Adapted from a novel by Chuck Palahniuk, the film is a contemporary classic that has lent itself to significant re-interpretation with every shift in the political economic landscape since its debut. Marxist Film Theory and Fight Club models a detailed cinematic interpretation that students can practice with other films, and furnishes a set of ideas about cinema and society that can be carried into other kinds of study, giving students tools for analyzing culture broadly defined.
This book interrogates the relation between film spectatorship and film theory in order to criticise some of the disciplinary and authoritarian assumptions of 1970s apparatus theory, without dismissing its core political concerns. Theory, in this perspective, should not be seen as a practice distinct from spectatorship but rather as an integral aspect of the spectator’s gaze. Combining Jacques Rancière’s emancipated spectator with Judith Butler’s queer theory of subjectivity, Spectatorship and Film Theory foregrounds the contingent, embodied and dialogic aspects of our experience of film. Erratic and always a step beyond the grasp of disciplinary discourse, this singular work rejects the notion of the spectator as a fixed position, and instead presents it as a field of tensions—a “wayward” history of encounters.
Film Theory Goes to the Movies fills the gap in film theory literature which has failed to analyze high-grossing blockbusters. The contributors in this volume, however, discuss such popular films as The Silence of the Lambs, Dances With Wolves, Terminator II, Pretty Woman, Truth or Dare, Mystery Train, and Jungle Fever. They employ a variety of critical approaches, from industry analysis to reception study, to close readings informed by feminist, deconstructive and postmodernist theory, as well as recent developments in African American and gay and lesbian criticism. An important introduction to contemporary Hollywood, this anthology will be of interest to those involved in the fields of film theory, literary theory, popular culture, and women's studies.
The Routledge Encyclopedia of Film Theory is an international reference work representing the essential ideas and concepts at the centre of film theory from the beginning of the twentieth century, to the beginning of the twenty-first. When first encountering film theory, students are often confronted with a dense, interlocking set of texts full of arcane terminology, inexact formulations, sliding definitions, and abstract generalities. The Routledge Encyclopedia of Film Theory challenges these first impressions by aiming to make film theory accessible and open to new readers. Edward Branigan and Warren Buckland have commissioned over 50 scholars from around the globe to address the difficult formulations and propositions in each theory by reducing these difficult formulations to straightforward propositions. The result is a highly accessible volume that clearly defines, and analyzes step by step, many of the fundamental concepts in film theory, ranging from familiar concepts such as ‘Apparatus’, ‘Gaze’, ‘Genre’, and ‘Identification’, to less well-known and understood, but equally important concepts, such as Alain Badiou’s ‘Inaesthetics’, Gilles Deleuze’s ‘Time-Image’, and Jean-Luc Nancy’s ‘Evidence’. The Routledge Encyclopedia of Film Theory is an ideal reference book for undergraduates of film studies, as well as graduate students new to the discipline.