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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.