High quality Film Theory gifts and merchandise. Her work has revolutionized the state of feminist film theory by introducing the concept of ‘The Matriaxial Gaze’ which finds women as the subject, instead of the object, but also deconstructs the structure of the subject itself. What is Film Theory? As technologies have progressed, contemporary film theory now looks at where and how we encounter cinema. [6], In the 1960s and 1970s, film theory took up residence in academia importing concepts from established disciplines like psychoanalysis, gender studies, anthropology, literary theory, semiotics and linguistics—as advanced by scholars such as Christian Metz. Often seen as dense and abstract, film theory can be a useful tool in understanding the meaning and impact of a film. Following are a few of the most helpful theoretical methods used in film studies: Auteur theory: The idea that the director is the single misunderstood artistic genius responsible for creating a […] Bergson commented on the need for new ways of thinking about movement, and coined the terms "the movement-image" and "the time-image". Introduction. Ettinger's notions articulate the links between aesthetics, ethics and trauma. Feminist film theory is a theoretical film criticism derived from feminist politics and feminist theory influenced by Second Wave Feminism and brought about around the 1970s in the United States. He was a proponent of documentary and Italian Neo-realism and was a founder and long-time editor of Cahiers Du Cinéma. Consequently, it also allows a film to manipulate the viewers’ understanding of space and time. See also individual directors, such as François Truffaut and Sergey Eisenstein; This differentiates this area from many otherphilosophical disciplines. Bazin argued that what made cinema its own art form was its ability to capture reality. In the USA, the theory was based on sociological theory, with a focus on the function of female characters within the narratives/genres of films. Film theory is a framework to understand what films mean and how they relate to life. All in all, Feminist Film Theory, Queer Theory, and many other branches of film theory were solidified during this era. From a psychoanalytical perspective, after the Lacanian notion of "the Real", Slavoj Žižek offered new aspects of "the gaze" extensively used in contemporary film analysis. More specifically, they studied what makes film stand apart as its own distinct art form. On the whole, this article will give a brief understanding of the history of film theory and some of the major schools of thought within film theory. Film theory involves looking at the film, individually or multiple films in a group, and analyzing how those films are connected to each other, to the group, to the audience, and to real life Discuss two reasons why people are interested in looking at the connections between films, films and … These theories are like lenses through which you can view film. He uses the derogatory term "SLAB theory" to refer to film studies based on the ideas of Ferdinand de Saussure, Jacques Lacan, Louis Althusser, and Roland Barthes. In the years after World War II, the French film critic and theorist André Bazin reacted against this approach to the cinema, arguing that film's essence lay in its ability to mechanically reproduce reality, not in its difference from reality. Structuralism focuses on recurring themes as well as the use of signs, symbols, and conventions to interpret film. The channel, like its predecessor, was created by Matthew Patrick, better known as MatPat. New theories explore spectatorship and the collective experience of cinema. Dziga Vertov was a Soviet theorist and an early documentarian. American scholar David Bordwell has spoken against many prominent developments in film theory since the 1970s. [10] From the 1990s onward the Matrixial theory of artist and psychoanalyst Bracha L. Ettinger[11] revolutionized feminist film theory. He believed that the camera acted as a second eye, and through editing, actual footage of real-life could unlock deeply hidden truths about society. 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. 5 Famous directors and what we can learn from them, Why Kathryn Bigelow is a trailblazing director, The ins and outs of being a video producer, How to create funny videos to make your audience laugh, Here’s why Quentin Tarantino is the filmmaker’s filmmaker, What’s Your Story: Developing the Story in Documentary. In short, it both reflects and provides commentary on the society it came from. She began making films in the 1910s with an interest in differentiating film as a distinct art, separate from painting or literature. As such, it is related to Literary Theory and Semiotics. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. He felt that what made film unique was the ability to show objective reality using long-takes, deep focus and misé en scene. Theorists in the 1920s focused on the camera and the edit as the two major factors that make film a unique artform. The first, beginning in the late 1960s and early 1970s, focused on a formal critique of cinema’s dissemination of ideology, and especially on the role of the cinematic apparatus in this process. outlines the discipline's key theoretical concepts, perspectives, and traditions, and critically examines the assertions posited by exemplary film theorists and philosophers of film. Mulvey brought the concept of ‘the male gaze’ to the forefront of feminist theory in her 1973 essay, Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema. As technologies have progressed, contemporary film theory now looks at where and how we encounter cinema. For filmmakers, theory allows us to better-hone our tools to create emotional and dramatic impacts on our audiences. His 1925 film Battleship Potemkin received acclaim worldwide and is still used in film schools to show the power of montage. Gledhill, Christine; and Linda Williams, editors. What is the male gaze? Partner with us to reach an enthusiastic audience of students, enthusiasts and professional videographers and filmmakers. 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. Lev Kuleshov was another Soviet filmmaker and theorist. Feminist film theory has emerged in the past 20 years to become a large and flourishing field. Thus, formalists are concerned about how these elements work (or do not work) to create impact on the viewer. In brief, film theory is a way to think about the elements of film. The 1990s brought the digital revolution. Simply put, formalism focuses heavily on how the style of a production communicates an intended message. On the whole, editing provides new context and meaning through juxtaposing images. The first is thatfilm scholars who are not professional philosophers have made manycontributions to the field. Neoformalists take into account to the cognitive effect of film on the viewer. His film Man with a Movie Camera is a classic of documentary filmmaking. 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 first began when filmmakers were first trying to understand their medium. Film theory is a set of scholarly approaches within the academic discipline of film or cinema studies that began in the 1920s by questioning the formal essential attributes of motion pictures; and that now provides conceptual frameworks for understanding film's relationship to reality, the other arts, individual viewers, and society at large. [2] Film theory is not to be confused with general film criticism, or film history, though these three disciplines interrelate. Cognitive film theory, as its advocates often point out, is not actually a unified theory of film. Feminist Film Theory examines the relationship between women and film. This is a small selection of notable theorists and is by no means comprehensive. Plus, they examine how public screenings have different effects than viewing films alone. Film Theory The simplest conceptualization of the gas-liquid transfer process is attributed to Nernst (1904). This stagnant film is hypothetical since we really don't know the details of the velocity profile near the interface. Film theory recognizes the cinema as a distinct art form. NeoFormalism also points out that art is not simply symbolism because, art often asks the viewer to look at familiar objects and concepts through new lenses. Inspired designs on t-shirts, posters, stickers, home decor, and more by independent artists and designers from around the world. His work also led to the theory of creative geography. A step-by-step approach to these issues guides the reader through the central topics of film theory. Its dominant approach, exemplifed by such journals as Screen and Camera Obscura, involves a theoretical combination of semiotics, Althusserian Marxism, and Lacanian psychoanalysis. [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. Dulac started out as an Impressionist, and her film La Coquille et le Clergyman has been regarded as the first Surrealist film. Filmmaker and theorist Laura Mulvey first coined the term “the male gaze” in her seminal 1973 paper Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema. He deeply examined the power of placing juxtaposing shots together to create an idea or feeling in his audience that was greater than either image would have alone. (See, for example, Chatman (1990)and Smith (1995).) All the latest video techniques and gear reviews, sent straight to your inbox. During the 1990s the digital revolution in image technologies has influenced film theory in various ways. Laura Mulvey is a contemporary British film theorist and filmmaker. Mast, Gerald; and Marshall Cohen, editors. [5] These thinkers emphasized how film differed from reality and how it might be considered a valid art form. French philosopher Henri Bergson's Matter and Memory (1896) anticipated the development of film theory during the birth of cinema in the early twentieth century. Auteur Theory is a way of looking at films that state that the director is the “author” of a film. Plus, in the 1960s, film theory became heavily influenced by semiotics, psychoanalysis, gender studies and Marxism. That is, a true auteur has distinctive characteristics that mark their work, regardless of other influences on the project. [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. Film theory is a scholarly pursuit, which attempts to explain the essence of what film is. Psychoanalytic film theory occurred in two distinct waves. In this framework, men are active participants in the world and women are objects that matter only so far as their relationship to men. Partner with us to reach an enthusiastic audience of students, enthusiasts and professional videographers and filmmakers. Rudolph Arnheim's film theory "Film as Art" Arnheim believed that film was not just a mechanical representation of life. Rather, it is a research tradition—one that originated in the 1980s with the work of a handful of scholars and today boasts a scholarly society, an annually held international conference, and … As formalist theory in film progressed in the 1980s concepts of Russian formalist films were taken to create Neo-formalism. You have entered an incorrect email address! Thus, in the academic world, Film Theory is a branch of Film Studies. 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. [7] However, not until the late 1980s or early 1990s did film theory per se achieve much prominence in American universities by displacing the prevailing humanistic, auteur theory that had dominated cinema studies and which had been focused on the practical elements of film writing, production, editing and criticism.[8]. Much of this early theory emphasized film as different than reality. Think of a closeup, or a POV shot. Auteur Theory promotes the idea that the director ultimately is the author (auteur) of a film. Click here to contact a sales representative and request a media kit. He was particularly interested in the power of montage to create meaning and emotional impact. Key characteristics of formalism is the theoretical and critical emphasis on form. Marxist Film Theory is primarily concerned with the production of film. Thus, in the academic world, Film Theory is a branch of Film Studies. NeoFormalism is a push back towards looking at the very elements that make up a film and a rejection of the over-reliance on symbolism in modern theory. But what if the audience knew … André Bazin was a French film critic and theorist whose work in the 1940s challenged the prevailing attitudes of the ‘20s and ‘30s. [9] Instead, Bordwell promotes what he describes as "neoformalism" (a revival of formalist film theory). Bracha Ettinger is an Isreali-born, contemporary French film theorist. [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. Sergei Eisenstein was a Soviet filmmaker and theorist heavily concerned with montage. Apparatus Theory states that film is unavoidably ideological in nature. Truffaut is known as one of the founders of the French New Wave movement. In Critical Cinema: Beyond the Theory of Practice (2011), Clive Meyer suggests that 'cinema is a different experience to watching a film at home or in an art gallery', and argues for film theorists to re-engage the specificity of philosophical concepts for cinema as a medium distinct from others.[20]. 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. His ideas have been influential with the Cinéma Vérité movement. Feminist Film Theory also questions how representation on screen and in the filmmaking process reflect the real world. By comparing patterns and relationships of the structure within a single film, and between several films, we can better understand meaning. Film theory is a set of scholarly approaches within the academic discipline of film or cinema studies that began in the 1920s by questioning the formal essential attributes of motion pictures;[1] and that now provides conceptual frameworks for understanding film's relationship to reality, the other arts, individual viewers, and society at large. It examines and questions depictions of people whose sexual and gender identities have been historically marginalized. The theory argues that a film is ultimately a reflection of the director’s vision; so, a film by a given filmmaker will feature recognizable, recurring themes and visual tropes that allow a viewer to observe a consistent artistic identity throughout the director’s body of work. 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. The Maltese Falcon ( 1941 ). the elements of film theory were solidified this... 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