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. (shrink)
Introduction -- An improbable alliance : Peter Wollen's "The auteur theory" -- Visual stylometry : Barry Salt's "Statistical style analysis of motion pictures" -- Between Shakespeare and Sirk : Thomas Elsaesser's "Tales of sound and fury: observations on the family melodrama" -- From iconicity to semiotic articulation : Christian Metz's "cinema: language or language system?" and language and cinema -- Film as a specific signifying practice : Stephen Heath's "On screen, in frame: film and ideology" -- Against theories of reflection (...) : Laura Mulvey's "Visual pleasure and narrative cinema" -- Early cinema spectatorship : Tom Gunning's "The cinema of attraction(s): early film, its spectator, and the avant-garde" -- Another Lacan : "the universal: suture revisited" -- The death of the camera : Edward Branigan's "What is a camera?" -- Conclusion: teaching theory. (shrink)
From Inception to The Lake House, moviegoers are increasingly flocking to narratologically complex puzzle films. These puzzle movies borrow techniques--like fragmented spatio-temporal reality, time loops, unstable characters with split identities or unreliable narrators--more commonly attributed to art cinema and independent films. The essays in Hollywood Puzzle Films examine the appropriation of puzzle film techniques by contemporary Hollywood dramas and blockbusters through questions of narrative, time, and altered realities. Analyzing movies like Source Code, The Butterfly Effect, Donnie Darko, Déjà Vu, and (...) adaptations of Philip K. Dick, contributors explore the implications of Hollywood's new movie mind games. (shrink)
From mainstream blockbusters to art house cinema, narrative and narration are the driving forces that organize a film. Yet attempts to explain these forces are often mired in notoriously complex terminology and dense theory. Warren Buckland provides a clear and accessible introduction that explains how narrative and narration work using straightforward language. Narrative and Narration distills the basic components of cinematic storytelling into a set of core concepts: narrative structure, processes of narration, and narrative agents. The book opens with a (...) discussion of the emergence of narrative and narration in early cinema and proceeds to illustrate key ideas through numerous case studies. Each chapter guides readers through different methods that they can use to analyze cinematic storytelling. Buckland also discusses how departures from traditional modes, such as feminist narratives, art cinema, and unreliable narrators, can complicate and corroborate the book's understanding of narrative and narration. Examples include mainstream films, both classic and contemporary; art house films of every stripe; and two relatively new styles of cinematic storytelling: the puzzle film and those driven by a narrative logic derived from video games. Narrative and Narration is a concise introduction that provides readers with fundamental tools to understand cinematic storytelling. (shrink)
This essay presents a commentary on and rational reconstruction of Stephen Heath's influential and groundbreaking essay from 1976: “On screen, in frame: Film and ideology.” As a commentary, it attempts to make explicit the implicit assumptions behind Heath's dense and challenging essay; rewrite and clarify his inexact formulations; and develop a microanalysis of the essay's language. As a rational reconstruction, this essay follows Rudolf Botha's philosophical study into the conduct of inquiry to analyze Heath's formulation of conceptual and empirical problems (...) and the strategies he uses to deproblematize them. This rational reconstruction rearranges the parts of Heath's essay according to the four central activities Botha identifies in the formulation of theoretical problems: 1) identifying the problematic state of affairs; 2) describing the problematic state of affairs; 3) constructing problems; and 4) evaluating problems according to well-formedness and significance. The result is a close reading of Heath's essay that reveals in minute detail his reasoning strategies, and highlights how he revolutionized film theory by attempting to integrate Lacanian psychoanalysis and Althusserian Marxism into continental semiotics, under the influence of Kristeva's theories of the signifying practice and the subject-in-process. (shrink)
This article analyses the visual rhetoric of Michel Gondry’s Deadweight (1997), a music video for Beck Hansen’s song of the same name, and also considers the song’s relation to Danny Boyle’s film A Life Less Ordinary (1997). Two key structures are identified in the video: antithesis and similarity – which Gondry employs to visually illustrate the title of both Beck’s song and Boyle’s film.