Film Theory: Style–Definition, Attributes, Studios, Directors

Research in progress, Dec 16, 2023

The Concept of Style:

Subject matter

Style and Studios (Studio as Auteur)

Each studio developed its trademark look:

MGM, conservative, elegantly polished

Paramount, softly artful

20th Fox, slick and meticulously framed

Warner, raw and hard (gangster movies)

Style Vs. Contents

Style that promotes contents

Style that matches contents

Style that overwhelms content

Style that outstrips content

Style at the expense/compensates for c0ntent

Origins of Style:

Style for style’s sake

Style as rooted in personal vision

Style that comments on contents (like Douglas Sirk on melodrama).

Style as a Moral and Political Fact

The articulation of cinematic structures does not merely “show” the events of a narrative, but creates them as an act of commentary, judgment and statement.


We look first at the style of Godard

It’s easier to discuss style than contents


Screenplay and Narrative Structure



Setting and Set Design

Sound and Score

Casting and Acting Performances

Evolving Styles

Special Edition: Director’s Cut

Source: Boggs

Visual Style–Production Design (Case Studies, Peacock book)

Frankenstein, 31

Wizard of Oz

Invasion of Body Snatchers






Blade Runner


Ju Dou, 90

Dick Tracy

Richard III

Angela’s Ashes