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Cinema: History and Criticism Notes, Week 13

by: annazeberlein

Cinema: History and Criticism Notes, Week 13 ENGL 212

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About this Document

These are the notes for the week of 4/12-4/14, covering film theory and Birdman.
Cinema: History and Criticism
Dr. Colleen Glenn
Class Notes
Film, Cinema
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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by annazeberlein on Sunday April 17, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to ENGL 212 at College of Charleston taught by Dr. Colleen Glenn in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 11 views. For similar materials see Cinema: History and Criticism in Foreign Language at College of Charleston.


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Date Created: 04/17/16
Cinema: History and Criticism, Week 13 Notes Film Theory - How people first responded of film o Film as its own art form, but still a combination of many art forms o The study of film is also highly interdisciplinary - Early film theory o No true study of film in an academy, but people were still talking about it, grappling with a new art form o People popped up as film critics in many different countries o Early questions § Is film its own art form? § Where is film’s place in the modern world? o Soviet montage theory - Formalism vs Realism o Formalism considers a film’s form to be the primary method of analysis § Similar to close reading o Realism considers how film replicates real life and reality in art § Becomes a trend post WWII § Bazin argued that editing diluted realism and opted for deep focus photography - Modernity and cinema o Walter Benjamin § German scholar, artwork has an aura that is unique and singular, but film and photography don’t because they can be reproduced - Post-war movements o Auteur theory § Backed certain directors, arguing that they should be respected and recognized as authors of their body of work § Film is so highly collaborative, that it makes this theory problematic o Genre theory § Emerged when French critics saw American film after the war and recognized commonalities in different categories o Contemporary film theory § Lacanian theory – a subgenre of psychoanalytical film theory • Questions motivations from a psychologist’s POV § Mirror theory/stage o Feminist film theory § Looking at issues of gender onscreen, especially how women are treated and depicted onscreen (70’s) followed by how men are depicted onscreen as well § How women are subjugated, how the camera has a male gaze and women are passive objects o LGBTQ studies § An extension of feminist studies/gender studies o Historical/cultural studies § Putting a work of art into its historical context to better understand it o Reception theory § Tells us about the audience, how we respond to films and why § The response creates the meaning o Star studies § Much like auteur theory o Race, ethnicity, representation § Pays attention to issues of race an ethnicity and representation onscreen, often pays more attention to POC than the movie does Birdman (2014) - The meaning of the comet in the beginning and the end - Lots of actors mentioned that have also done superhero movies - Actually filmed in the St. James theatre, blurring the lines between backstage and onstage, what the audience sees and what they don’t - Birdman has made his fortune, but he can’t get out from under his shadow - Circular camera movements add to the chaos, labyrinth like backstage - Shiner is always making power plays - The camera itself is like another character, like Birdman - Hollywood is called “cultural genocide” so what do the Hollywood elements do in this film? - Tabitha is a hard character to read, why did she leave the play during the applause


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