Aesthetics Of Film / Edition 1

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A concise, lively, and readable summary of classical and contemporary film theory, Aesthetics of Film is the work of experts who are defining the parameters of film criticism internationally. First published in French (L'Esthetique du film) in 1983, the book provides an essential introduction to all major areas of film study, including semiotics, narratology, psychoanalysis as a part of film theory, and the theory of spectatorship.

Because current film criticism is part of a historical debate about the role of cinema in society, the authors probe the contributions of significant film theorists of the past. They consider the earliest writings of Munsterberg, Balazs, and Eisenstein, move on to Bazin, the Filmologists, and Mitry, and address the linguistic, semiotic, and psychoanalytic contributions offered by Barthes, Metz, and many of their contemporaries.

The chapters include "Film as Audiovisual Representation," "Montage," "Cinema and Narration," "Cinema and Language," and "Film and its Spectator." With numerous references to specific films and many black-and-white stills, the book will be useful for both beginning film students and advanced scholars who need a summary of the major stages in the development of film theory and aesthetics.

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Editorial Reviews

The single most comprehensive survey of the subject yet written. This masterful book provides a critical and concise introduction to nearly 100 years of philosophic inquiry into the cinema. . . . Aesthetics of Film is likely to become an essential text for the classroom and will provide an excellent backbone to the collegiate syllabus.
A concise and readable summary of classical and contemporary film theory, first published in French (Editions Nathan, Paris) in 1983. Provides an introduction to all major areas of film study, including semiotics, narratology, psychoanalysis as a part of film theory, and the theory of spectatorship. Paper edition (unseen), $17.95. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780292704374
  • Publisher: University of Texas Press
  • Publication date: 1/1/1992
  • Series: Texas Film and Media Studies Series
  • Edition description: Revised
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 290
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.65 (d)

Table of Contents

Translator's Note
Typologies of Written Work on the Cinema
The Popular Press
Publications Directed at Cinephiles
Theoretical and Aesthetic Writings
Theories of the Cinema and Aesthetics of the Cinema
An Indigenous Theory
A Descriptive Theory
Film Theory and Aesthetics
Theory of the Cinema and Technical Practice
Film Theories
1. Film as Audiovisual Representation
Film Space
Techniques of Depth
Depth of Field
The Concept of the Shot
The Cinema as Audio Representation
The Economic-Technical Factors and Their History
Aesthetic and Ideological Factors
2. Montage
The Principle of Editing
The Objects of Editing
Modes of Action in Editing
Montage: The Large Definition of Editing
The Functions of Montage
The Empirical Approach
Toward More Systematic Description
Ideologies of Montage
André Bazin and the Cinema of Transparency
S. M. Eisenstein and the Dialectical Cinema
3. Cinema and Narration
Narrative Cinema
The Cinema Encounters Narration
Non-narrative Cinema: A Difficult Boundary
Narrative Cinema: Objects and Objectives of Film Study
The Fiction Film
Every Film Is a Fiction Film
The Problem of the Referent
Narrative, Narration, and Diegesis
Narrative Codes, Functions, and Characters
Realism in the Cinema
Realism and the Materials of Expression
The Realism of Film Subject Matter
The Plausible
The Genre Effect
The Impression of Reality
4. Cinema and Language
Film Language
An Ancient Notion
The First Theorists
The Film Grammars
The Classical Conception of Language
A Language without Signs
The Cinema: Language or Language System?
Film Language and Language System(s)
Film's Intelligibility
The Heterogeneity of Film Language
The Materials of Expression
The Concept of Code in Semiology
The Codes Specific to the Cinema
Nonspecific Codes
The Textual Analysis of Film
The Concept of Film Text in Language and Cinema
Case Study: The Textual System of D. W Griffith's Intolerance
The Notion of Text in Literary Semiotics
The Originality and Consequence of Textual Analysis
5. Film and Its Spectator
The Film Spectator
The Conditions of the Representative Illusion
The "Working" of the Spectator
Filmology's Spectator
The Film Spectator as Imaginary Person
A New Approach to the Film Spectator
The Film Spectator and Identification in Film
The Role of Identification in the Formation of the Ego
Identification as Narcissistic Regression
Double Identification in the Cinema
Primary Identification in the Cinema
Secondary Identification in the Cinema
Identification and Structure
Identification and Enunciation
The Film Spectator and the Psychoanalytic Subject
Feminist Theory and the Spectator
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