The Sociology and Aesthetics of Film Adaptation

THE SOURCES OF FILMS Frequently the most narrow and provincial area of film theory, discourse about adaptation is potentially as far-reaching as you like. Its distinctive feature, the matching of the cinematic sign system to prior achievement in some other system, can be shown to be distinctive of all representational cinema. Let us begin with… Read More The Sociology and Aesthetics of Film Adaptation

Modernism, Postmodernism and Film Criticism

Postmodern cinema ironically has a history now. In 1984, Fredric Jameson observed that contemporary culture seemed to be expressing a new form of ‘depthlessness‘ – a concentration on style and ‘surface’. For Jameson these features represented a retreat from the need to supply a univocal narrative closure to the postmodern text, predicated on the fragmentation… Read More Modernism, Postmodernism and Film Criticism

Emmanuel Levinas: Philosophy, Photography and Film

Emmanuel Levinas is among the least obvious of twentieth-century philosophers to feature in a volume devoted to philosophy of film. From a philosophical grounding in the phenomenology of Edmund Husserl and Martin Heidegger that remained an important influence throughout his career, Levinas‘s work traverses the fields of religion, aesthetics, politics and, most crucially, ethics. Levinas articulates… Read More Emmanuel Levinas: Philosophy, Photography and Film

Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s Phenomenological Approach to Films

Maurice Merleau-Ponty wrote only one essay on film, yet his phenomenological approach informs problems of perception central to film. Taken up by some theorists as a welcome counterbalance to Marxist and psychoanalytic theories that tend to consider the film as text, a phenomenological approach provides a methodology for thinking through the perceptual experience of viewing… Read More Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s Phenomenological Approach to Films

Homi K Bhabha’s Theoretical Contributions to Film Studies

In his epistemological work on colonial and postcolonial discourse, cultural translation, hybridity and ambiguity, Homi Bhabha gives a central place to culture. Bhabha refers regularly to literature and (albeit to a lesser extent) to cinema. Speaking from a profoundly humanities perspective, and influenced by Sigmund Freud, Jacques Lacan, Frantz Fanon and Jacques Derrida, Bhabha argues… Read More Homi K Bhabha’s Theoretical Contributions to Film Studies