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Post-theory: Reconstructing Film Studies

Post-theory: Reconstructing Film Studies

Paperback Wisconsin Studies in Film (Paperback)

By (author) David Bordwell, By (author) Noel Carroll

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  • Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press
  • Format: Paperback | 582 pages
  • Dimensions: 152mm x 229mm x 32mm | 771g
  • Publication date: 28 February 1996
  • Publication City/Country: Wisconsin
  • ISBN 10: 0299149447
  • ISBN 13: 9780299149444
  • Edition statement: New.
  • Illustrations note: 57 b&w photographs, 13 line illustrations
  • Sales rank: 333,392

Product description

Since the 1970s, film scholars have been searching for a unified theory that will explain all types of film, their production and their reception; the field has been dominated by structuralist Marxism, varieties of cultural theory and the psychoanalytic ideas of Freud and Lacan. The authors of this text ask why not employ many theories tailored to specific goals, rather than search for a unified theory. They offer directions for understanding film, presenting essays by 27 scholars on topics as diverse as film scores, audience response and the national film industries of Russia, Scandinavia, the US and Japan. Using historical, philosophical, psychological and feminist methods, the book examines issues such as: what goes on when viewers perceive a film?; how do filmmakers exploit conventions?; how do movies create illusions?; and how does a film arouse emotion?

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Author information

David Bordwell is the Jacques Ledoux Professor of Film Studies at the University of Wisconsin--Madison. His books include "Narration in the Fiction Film," also published by the University of Wisconsin Press, "Making Meaning, The Cinema of Eisenstein, The Classical Hollywood Cinema," and many others. Noel Carroll, the Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Humanities at Temple University, is the author of "Mystifying Movies, The Philosophy of Horror," and "Philosophical Problems of Classical Film Theory." He has written scores of articles and reviews for such publications as "The Village Voice, Art Forum," and "The Boston Review" and has been a documentary screenwriter for WNET-TV in New York.

Review quote

""Post-Theory" is absolutely timely as a call to reform the field of film studies. Bordwell and Carroll--two of the most prominent names in the field--advocate pluralism, open mindedness, film theories over film Theory, and the need for an ongoing critical dialogue. There is no other book like it."--Andrew Horton, author of "Writing the Character-Centered Screenplay"

Back cover copy

Since the 1970s, the academic study of film has been dominated by Structuralist Marxism, varieties of cultural theory, and the psychoanalytic ideas of Freud and Lacan. With Post-Theory, David Bordwell and Noel Carroll have opened the floor to other voices challenging the prevailing practices of film scholarship. Addressing topics as diverse as film scores, national film industries, and audience response. Post-Theory offers fresh directions for understanding film. Bordwell and Carroll pose a simple question. Why not employ many theories tailored to specific goals, rather than searching for a unified theory that will explain all sorts of films, their production, and their reception? The scholars writing here use historical, philosophical, psychological, and feminist methods to tackle such basic issues as: What goes on when viewers perceive a film? How do filmmakers exploit conventions? How do movies create illusions? How does a film arouse emotion? Bordwell and Carroll have given space not only to distinguished film scholars but to non-film specialists as well, ensuring a wide variety of opinions and ideas on virtually every topic on the current agenda of film studies. Full of stimulating essays published here for the first time, Post-Theory promises to redefine the study of cinema.