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Film Theory Review.17472126.pdf


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Drawing on prior experience from literary theory in my undergraduate studies as well as
theory touched upon in the MALS Seminar, I will focus on certain schools of thought in regard
to film. My specific concentration will be on the beginnings of cinema and film theory to give a
base to the rest of the study from which I will branch out into Auteur Theory, Structuralism and
Semiotics, Psychoanalytic Theory and Ideology and lastly Spectatorship and Intertextuality.
Utilizing Robert Stam’s Literary Theory: an Introduction and Robin Wood’s Hitchcock
Revisited, along with the Oxford Film Theory and Criticism (Baudry, et al.), I will review the
ideas around film and screen films in order to apply those theories.
Much like Robert Stam, my approach to film theory draws on several schools. He states
the reason for doing this best when he says “If I am a partisan of anything it is of theoretical
cubism: the deployment of multiple perspectives and grids” (Stam, 1). From the start of my
higher education, I have been unable to ally completely with any one school of thought, but find
that if I apply perspectives from several, that the text I am reviewing, literary or cinematic, tends
to open more clearly and in a more meaningful and thought provoking way. In discussing ideas,
I may tend to avoid naming names, as I agree with Stam that this pigeon-holes theorists into one
school or another, whether warranted or not (for example Bazin who Stam explains is “reduced
to a theorist only of realism” by other critics who frequently quote him either in support or
opposition to their ideas) (77). He also adds that, “a real dialogue depends on the ability of each
side to articulate the adversary’s project fairly before critiquing it” (7). So it is important for
theorists to understand that “theories of art are not right or wrong in the same way as scientific
theories” (8). Furthermore, one should keep in mind that “theories do not supersede one another

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