Film Theory: Film Studies–Ways of Seeing

The scholar Philip Kolker has stated in the Oxford Encyclopedia for Film Studies:

Film studies are against the notion of film as a kind of self-constructed presence full of story, characters, and emotions.  They are against the notion that a film is just there, complete and full, waiting for the viewers’ gaze to absorb it.

All theories attempt to invent a concept, or create and use a metaphor that will help relating films to society.

Film represents an open system, not just a set of components framing a whole, but an interrelated set of components that are conditioned by each other.

It’s not the goal of film studies to impose a single working method or a single approach on analyzing and understating film.

Film studies offer a plurality of strategies, a variety of alternative approaches and methods.

Films have always been since their inception transcultural phenomenon, having the capacity to transcend culture– to create modes of fascination which are readily accessible and which engage audiences in ways independent of their linguistic and cultural specificities.

Allen and Gomery have emphasized the importance of film theory.

Theory determines which questions are asked (and not asked) and which approaches are taken.

All film historians operate within general cultural contexts, which influence their research agendas, theories and concepts.


List of Film Theories:

Marx’s reflection theory (infrastructure and superstructure)

Mikhail Bakhtin’s Adequacy

George Lukacs’s Homology and World Vision

Terry Eagleton’s Literary Mode of Production (LMP)