Film Theory: Formalism–Principles, Concepts

Film Theory: Formalism–

For formalists, film artistry lies not in the materials per se, but in the  way that they’re taken apart and then reconstructed expressively.

Hitchcock and Pure Cinema

Hitchcock, influenced by Pudovkin, has said: “The screen ought to speak its own language, freshly coined, and it can’t do that unless it treats an acted scene as a piece of raw material which must be broken up, taken to bits, before it can be woven into an expressive visual pattern.”


Unity vs. diversity

Similarity vs. difference

Development vs. change


Basic Concepts

Sequence (Narrative Structure):

A sequence is a series of brief scenes that are joined in a formal or thematic way that suggests they constitute a unit that’s part of the film’s narrative.

Film sequence is the equivalent of an act in the theater, or a chapter in a book.

In many movies, changes in contexts or settings indicate the end of one sequence and the beginning of another.

Film and Music

For some, formalism means pure cinema, namely, piecing together the fragmentary shots, like individual notes of music that, when combined, produce a melody, a song