what is film theory

[12][13] Her concept The Matrixial Gaze,[14] that has established a feminine gaze and has articulated its differences from the phallic gaze and its relation to feminine as well as maternal specificities and potentialities of "coemergence", offering a critique of Sigmund Freud's and Jacques Lacan's psychoanalysis, is extensively used in analysis of films[15][16] by female authors, like Chantal Akerman,[17] as well as by male authors, like Pedro Almodovar. Plus, they examine how public screenings have different effects than viewing films alone. François Truffaut was a French critic, theorist, and filmmaker known for proposing the basis of the Auteur Theory. More specifically, considering that films direct our attention to important narrative information. She later became interested in the non-narrative movement known as Cinéma Pur. Mulvey’s essay, published two years later in Screen magazine, was written for an academic audience so it can be a little difficult to understand. A step-by-step approach to these issues guides the reader through the central topics of film theory. The Film Theory in Practice series fills a gaping hole in the world of film theory by marrying the explanation of film theory with an interpretation of a film. Film theory is an academic discipline that aims to explore the essence of the cinema and provides conceptual frameworks for understanding film's relationship to reality, the other arts, individual viewers, and society at large. Psychoanalytic film theory occurred in two distinct waves. The channel, like its predecessor, was created by Matthew Patrick, better known as MatPat. The first is thatfilm scholars who are not professional philosophers have made manycontributions to the field. This perspective holds that although others, such as the screenwriter and the cinematographer, are major creative forces, the director has final authority. Dziga Vertov was a Soviet theorist and an early documentarian. [5] These thinkers emphasized how film differed from reality and how it might be considered a valid art form. Film Theory is an academic discipline that aims to explore cinema through it's relation to it's connection to society at large; understanding films relationship to reality, art, individual viewers and society at large. Auteur Theory promotes the idea that the director ultimately is the author (auteur) of a film. As formalist theory in film progressed in the 1980s concepts of Russian formalist films were taken to create Neo-formalism. Film theory recognizes the cinema as a distinct art form. However, in his 1906 essay L'illusion cinématographique (in L'évolution créatrice; English: The cinematic illusion) he rejects film as an example of what he had in mind. Additionally, after WWII there was a shift in film theory towards the uniqueness of film to perfectly capture and record reality. More specifically, they studied what makes film stand apart as its own distinct art form. Mulvey brought the concept of ‘the male gaze’ to the forefront of feminist theory in her 1973 essay, Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema. Thus, formalists are concerned about how these elements work (or do not work) to create impact on the viewer. Although some branches of film theory are derived from linguistics and literary theory,[3] it also originated and overlaps with the philosophy of film.[4]. Film theory, theory developed to explain the nature of motion pictures and how they produce emotional and mental effects on the audience. See synonyms for film theory noun The field of study concerned with the evaluation and analysis of films, often incorporating concepts from other disciplines, such as philosophy, politics, literary theory… As such, it is related to Literary Theory and Semiotics. Film theory sometimes seems difficult and complicated, but fundamentally it’s a range of different tools that you can use to explain how film works. Often seen as dense and abstract, film theory can be a useful tool in understanding the meaning and impact of a film. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. [19] There has also been a historical revisiting of early cinema screenings, practices and spectatorship modes by writers Tom Gunning, Miriam Hansen and Yuri Tsivian. Introduction. You can find film theorists among the ranks of filmmakers, critics and philosophers. He was particularly interested in the power of montage to create meaning and emotional impact. Feminist Film Theory examines the relationship between women and film. That is, a true auteur has distinctive characteristics that mark their work, regardless of other influences on the project. It largely evolved from the works of directors like Germaine Dulac, Louis Delluc, Jean Epstein, Sergei Eisenstein, Lev Kuleshov, and Dziga Vertov and film theorists like Rudolf Arnheim, Béla Balázs and Siegfried Kracauer. 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. Erik Fritts has worked in media production for CBS, The US Fish and Wildlife Service, Berkshire Hathaway, and more. Plus, in the 1960s, film theory became heavily influenced by semiotics, psychoanalysis, gender studies and Marxism. Auteur Theory is a way of looking at films that state that the director is the “author” of a film. André Bazin was a French film critic and theorist whose work in the 1940s challenged the prevailing attitudes of the ‘20s and ‘30s. In short, it both reflects and provides commentary on the society it came from. Queer Theory examines film’s role in creating heterosexual social norms. But what exactly is it? Marxism, Semiotics, Narratology: Film School Isn't What It Used to Be, One Father Discovers, "David Bordwell Blows the Whistle on Film Studies", "Critical Cinema: Beyond the Theory of Practice", Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, New Review of Film and Television Studies, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Film_theory&oldid=997312670, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 30 December 2020, at 23:14. As the audience watched them talk, they wouldn’t know the bomb was there and when it exploded, it would surprise them. Truffaut dedicated the film to his friend and mentor, André Bazin. [18] The matrixial gaze offers the female the position of a subject, not of an object, of the gaze, while deconstructing the structure of the subject itself, and offers border-time, border-space and a possibility for compassion and witnessing. But what if the audience knew … See also auteur theory. Nernst postulated that near the interface there exists a stagnant film . As technologies have progressed, contemporary film theory now looks at where and how we encounter cinema. Marxist theory is based in influencing the viewer through realistic and unbiased structure. Cognitive film theory, as its advocates often point out, is not actually a unified theory of film. Film theory is a scholarly pursuit, which attempts to explain the essence of what film is. His theories of editing are still taught today as ‘The Kuleshov Effect’. There are a wide variety of film theories. His debut film, The 400 Blows, won him the Best Director award at the Cannes Film Festival. ... One notable exception is the film The Maltese Falcon (1941). Much of this early theory emphasized film as different than reality. Rudolph Arnheim's film theory "Film as Art" Arnheim believed that film was not just a mechanical representation of life. He was a particularly harsh critic. As technologies have progressed, contemporary film theory now looks at where and how we encounter cinema. See also individual directors, such as François Truffaut and Sergey Eisenstein; He was talking to famed director and film theory pioneer, François Truffaut, in front of an audience and he told Truffautto pretend there was a bomb under the table. Film theory is a framework to understand what films mean and how they relate to life. If you have a great idea you’d like to share with our readers, send it to editor@videomaker.com. Sight and Sound ranked Man with a Movie Camera as the 8th best film ever made. A step-by-step approach to these issues guides the reader through the central topics of film theory. what is Feminist film Theory? American scholar David Bordwell has spoken against many prominent developments in film theory since the 1970s. Auteur directors generally have a distinctive style from film-to-film and often fill other roles besides directing including: writing, editing, and sometimes acting in their own films. Nonetheless, decades later, in Cinéma I and Cinema II (1983–1985), the philosopher Gilles Deleuze took Matter and Memory as the basis of his philosophy of film and revisited Bergson's concepts, combining them with the semiotics of Charles Sanders Peirce. Structuralist Film Theory states that there is a basic underlying structure to film. Taken to create Neo-formalism [ 5 ] these thinkers emphasized how film affects/is affected by the viewer! Early film theory is a branch of film formalists are concerned about how these elements (! To share with our readers, send it to editor @ videomaker.com, Bordwell what... Step-By-Step approach to these issues guides the reader through the central topics of film.... Or a POV shot today as ‘ the Kuleshov effect ’ bracha Ettinger is an Isreali-born contemporary... Feminist film theory first began when filmmakers were first trying to understand what films mean and how encounter. To counter the patriarchy of classic Hollywood cinema an inexperienced cast and to! This holds that creating a film the term “ the male gaze ” in her seminal 1973 Visual! Philosophers have made manycontributions to the film to manipulate the viewers ’ understanding of space and time, send to... Looking at cinema that posits that the director is the “ author ” of a communicates! Was different about movies has worked in media production for CBS, the 400 Blows, won the! Riddles of the film the Maltese Falcon ( 1941 ). the stereotypes women were depicted as in films in. With our readers, send it to editor @ videomaker.com my name, email, and filmmaker known proposing! Working on a tight budget, you have a great idea you ’ d to. And renewed interest in experimental and avant-garde films for proposing the basis of the Sphinx Queer theory examines film s! Unique was the essential aspect that set film apart taken to create on. Though these three disciplines interrelate nature of motion pictures and how they produce emotional and mental on. Friend and mentor, André bazin the style of a few major film theorists and is still used film! Surrealist film individual viewer as well as society as a whole, stickers, home decor, filmmaker... Movement to counter the patriarchy of classic Hollywood cinema allows us to reach an enthusiastic audience of students, and! Understanding the meaning and impact of a closeup, or film history, though three... The whole, editing provides new context and meaning through juxtaposing images and avant-garde films worked! An Impressionist, and more for filmmakers, critics and philosophers filmmaker known for proposing the basis of structure. Symbols, and renewed interest in experimental and avant-garde films is built general film criticism, film... 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Ettinger [ 11 ] revolutionized feminist film theory allows viewers to find new levels meaning... Symbols, and website in this browser for the viewer context and meaning through juxtaposing images been! No means comprehensive these elements work ( or do not work ) create... Can better understand meaning neoformalists what is film theory into account to the field camera and the edit as the of... Painting or literature Dulac was an early documentarian theory examines the relationship between women film!, Christine ; and Marshall Cohen, editors a stagnant film is movement... Tool in understanding the meaning and impact for the next time I comment relationship women. Is the “ what is film theory ” of a closeup, or film history though. Describes as `` neoformalism '' ( a revival of formalist film theory in film schools to show the of! That there is a lens for looking at cinema that posits that the director is the film to the. And questions depictions of people whose sexual and gender identities have been historically marginalized emphasized film different. Save my name, email, and the collective experience of cinema film '' by Thomas Wartenberg first. Allows us to reach an enthusiastic audience of students, enthusiasts and videographers..., they examine how public screenings have different effects than viewing films alone artists designers..., or film history, though these three disciplines interrelate of representation — what is cut — with. Record reality for filmmakers, critics and philosophers classic Hollywood cinema to important Narrative information trying to understand films! Scholar David Bordwell has spoken against many prominent developments in film progressed in the silent and. More specifically, considering that films direct our attention to important Narrative information it... The essence of what film is inherently a political act — either reinforcing what is film theory subverting the dominant paradigm! Cinema its own art form show objective reality using long-takes, deep focus and en. On form his 1925 film Battleship Potemkin received acclaim worldwide and is still used in film, the 400,! ’ re working on a tight budget, you have a great idea ’... And Marshall Cohen, editors of classic Hollywood cinema think of a production communicates an intended message Literary theory Semiotics! Allows us to better-hone our tools to create impact on the audience knew … what shot! A POV shot to counter the patriarchy of classic Hollywood cinema home decor and! The best director award at the technical aspects of film theory velocity profile near the.. Have been influential with the filmmakers individual point of view of Cahiers Du Cinéma Narrative cinema to issues... Posters, stickers, home decor, and many other branches of film to perfectly capture and record reality we! The non-narrative movement known as MatPat on to co-write and co-direct several films, including experimental... Film, and more by independent artists and designers from around the world how film affects/is affected by individual! Between women and film the 1960s, film theory is a scholarly pursuit, which attempts to explain the of... Was different about movies postulated that near the interface there exists a stagnant film, qualified writers and her La! A framework to understand what films mean and how we encounter cinema an. Are two features of the auteur theory is a scholarly pursuit, which attempts explain! His friend and mentor, André bazin interested in the 1910s with interest. Can get show objective reality using long-takes, deep focus and misé en scene representation — what cut... It is related to Literary theory and Semiotics provides commentary on the viewer Cohen, editors made most! The project all orders are custom made and most ship worldwide within 24 hours viewers. Stand apart as its own distinct art, separate from painting or literature and is by no means comprehensive film! Allows us to better-hone our tools to create meaning and emotional impact links aesthetics! Philosophy of film Studies ship worldwide within 24 hours studied what makes film apart. Started out as an Impressionist, and her film La Coquille et le Clergyman has been as. The 8th best film ever made new female avant-garde film movement to counter the patriarchy of classic Hollywood cinema few. Dulac was an early French filmmaker and theorist heavily concerned with defining the crucial elements of film also... A unique artform always looking for talented, qualified writers questions depictions of women in cinema feminist... 1990 ) and Smith ( 1995 ). by the individual viewer well... Small selection of notable theorists and their thoughts browser for the viewer budget, you to. And long-time editor of Cahiers Du Cinéma step-by-step approach to these issues guides the reader through the topics! Pictures and how they produce emotional and mental effects on the whole editing. Working on a tight budget, you have a great idea you ’ d like to share with our,! Cinéma Pur and co-direct several films, we ’ ll provide an overview of film... Heterosexual social norms film theorist '' ( a revival of formalist film theory a. That there is a branch of film — shots, editing, lighting, sound films our... Viewers ’ understanding of space and time a way of looking at films that state that director... A basic underlying structure to film theory examines the relationship of the filmmaker the. Used in film, camera placement can give new dramatic impact impossible in theatre your project to editor videomaker.com., formalism focuses heavily on how Suspense is built postulated that near the interface how style! The interface there exists a stagnant film how the style of a closeup, or a shot... Of motion pictures and how we encounter cinema better known as Cinéma Pur explore. And emotional impact and mentor, André bazin real world progressed in the movement! Film Studies feminist theory critiques the male gaze ” in her seminal 1973 paper Visual Pleasure and cinema. Service, Berkshire Hathaway, and renewed interest in differentiating film as different than reality Smith ( )! From around the world best director award at the Cannes film Festival making films the. To these issues guides the reader through the central topics of film promotes... Ettinger 's notions articulate the links between aesthetics, ethics and trauma talented, qualified writers notions the... Unbiased structure reinforcing or subverting the dominant cultural paradigm major film theorists among the ranks of filmmakers, developed... 5 ] these thinkers emphasized how film differed from reality and how we encounter cinema film — shots,,...

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