Fully updated and expanded throughout, this second edition of Film Theory: The Basics provides an accessible introduction to the key theorists, concepts, and debates that have shaped the study of moving images.
The book examines film theory from its emergence in the early twentieth century to its study in the present day, and explores why film has drawn special attention as a medium, as a form of representation, and as a focal point in the rise of modern visual culture. It also emphasizes how film theory has developed as a historically contingent discourse, one that has evolved and changed in conjunction with different social, political, and intellectual factors. This second edition offers a detailed account of new theoretical directions at the forefront of film studies in the twenty-first century, and draws additional attention to how theory engages with today’s most pressing questions about digital technologies, the environment, and racial justice.
Complete with questions for discussion and a glossary of both key terms and key theorists, this book in an invaluable resource for those new to film theory and for anyone else interested in the history and significance of critical thinking in relation to the moving image.
Table of Contents
Introduction 1. Theory Before Theory, 1915-1960 2. French Theory, 1949-1968 3. Screen Theory, 1969-1996 4. Post-Theory, 1996-2015 5. Theory After Film Theory
Kevin McDonald is a Lecturer in the Department of Communication Studies at California, Northridge where he teaches popular culture and cultural studies. He is the co-editor of The Netflix Effect: Technology and Entertainment in the 21st Century. He writes about film theory, contemporary Hollywood, and the political economy of streaming media.