New User Special Price Expires in

Let's log you in.

Sign in with Facebook


Don't have a StudySoup account? Create one here!


Create a StudySoup account

Be part of our community, it's free to join!

Sign up with Facebook


Create your account
By creating an account you agree to StudySoup's terms and conditions and privacy policy

Already have a StudySoup account? Login here

Film Theory Week 1 Fall 2016

by: Abi Sommers

Film Theory Week 1 Fall 2016 CTCS 473

Marketplace > University of Southern California > CTCS 473 > Film Theory Week 1 Fall 2016
Abi Sommers

Preview These Notes for FREE

Get a free preview of these Notes, just enter your email below.

Unlock Preview
Unlock Preview

Preview these materials now for free

Why put in your email? Get access to more of this material and other relevant free materials for your school

View Preview

About this Document

Here are notes on week 1's lecture by Professor Jon Wagner which was followed by the screening of La Quatro Volte. This lecture cover's the meaning of "theory", film's origins and modernism, and c...
Film Theories
Jon Wagner
Class Notes
25 ?




Popular in Film Theories

Popular in Department

This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Abi Sommers on Saturday August 27, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to CTCS 473 at University of Southern California taught by Jon Wagner in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 34 views.


Reviews for Film Theory Week 1 Fall 2016


Report this Material


What is Karma?


Karma is the currency of StudySoup.

You can buy or earn more Karma at anytime and redeem it for class notes, study guides, flashcards, and more!

Date Created: 08/27/16
Theory : Set of propositions used to explain the world  ­­ not truth or claims of mastery Theory ­ theoria; to contemplate ­ theros; spectator ­ Problem with theory ­> claim to legitimacy w/ suspicion of falsehood ­Question and interrogate underlying assumptions ­Most impactful when pulls seemingly unquestionable idea into crisis, undermine accepted  meanings *Classical cinema theory involves struggling to legitimize cinema, why can film achieve a status  of art *Theory often starts out as interrogation of who is serving, what is being argued,   has tendency  to turn into orthodoxy/ dogmas Film has origins in the modern, modernist Mondernist; intensification of what is modern ­Modern has origins in renaissance, a period of radical questioning about meaning and  legitimacy. ­Excited, radical, sometimes violent innovation ­Modern carries with it contradiction,  liberated from old traditions but sets up for nostalgia and  fear ­Modern; radical sense of progress with sense of loss ­Move into humanness individuality after renaissance ­Humanism , a study /affirmation of ways in which humans realize their potential in the world  through their own initiative Martin Luther ;95 Theses,   Machiavelli ;the Prince  The Enlightenment ; the Age of Reason ­Increasing reliance on possibilities of human intellect ­Rise of supreme value of science, increasing sense that secular state occupied the world as  opposed to God ­Moved toward conquest of the world, great age of exploration ­Enlightenment 18th C. ­ Romantic age *Romantic era characterized by Cante, Hagel,..  the idea that access to the world isnot direct ,  encounters are phenomenon filtered through perceptions and regulations Modernism  accompanied by crisis created by progress, creates sense that history outstrips  ablity to know and understand reason, order, truth ­ Charles Darwin, Karl Marx, Niche, Freud, Einstein De­mystifying the world and divinity Industrial Revolution, Scientific Revolution Aporia­ enormous sense of opportunity and progress w/ sense of exile and betrayal Gaining everything with abyss of loss “The Quest for Lost Time” Mass yearning for recovery of stability, proto totalitarian for restored mastery Modernist spectacle of tomorrow with fear of inability to handle tomorrow, representations of  reality being betrayed and slaughtered   ­­­ became true with genocide and empircal collapses  come 19th C.  Wars represented type of resolve to crisis of reality and extinction “The Final Solution” ­ idea of coming to final solution through history of overturning *Cinema addresses enormous sense of innovation and overturning, yet restored spectacle,  totality and unity. 20th c. opportunity and horror  ; Rambo ­” The Century of Hell” Cinema arises and develops within historical context of modernism ­ Cinema as spectacular training device ­ Cinema arise to address enormous cultural crisis ­ What is cinema training a mass urban training of? Why so influential? ­ How to handle enormous information overload and how to process Cinema as shattered image thrown at face and have to put back together and make sense of  Vast amounts of shock, stimulous, and information Ability to handle shock, speed and processing means survival “ No one could have driven here today if it weren’t for cinema. You would not have been able to  handle it.” *Cinema participates in mass reproduction, where originality of unique object stripped away Aura of authenticity and uniqueness stripped away ­Trained in reality of the image and not the thing ­Seeing becomes believing, the image is the real ­Encountering reality as a stream of images  *Cinema as an enabling machine we use to approach reality, turn experience into a spectale  Spectacle: ability to turn disparate parts into totality out of shatteredness ­Cinema teaches us how to survive the century of hell ­Cinema was born because it had to be  ­Cinema continuously replaced by new mediums training us in a way to interact with the world Classical Theory vs. Contemporary *All cinema theory is argument about the real. Classical Theory: comprised realism , formalism, classical hollywood cinema, aeuturism and  art film 2 parts : ­ Tries to say what cinema should do as powerful training device, mechanism for messing  with time and space, what makes cinema rise to its potential and what violates what is  supposed to be cinematic/ what is the essence of cinema Specificity Thesis ­  attempt to ask what is the essence of cinema Heartbreaking urgency about what cinema should do within existential crisis of the times , ­ can  cinema save us? Stop the madness?  ­  Attempts to say cinema is important !  Not beneath our contempt, not a lesser art.  Increasingly manifesting of jagurnaught of artistic realization/  wants to legitimize and  argue why cinema is are  ­Many different arguments about what makes essence and what makes art  ­Retrains us in continuity of space and time that we lost  ­Can act as recovery device, cinema as messiah machine, learn to re­approach reality not set  on suicide Formalism:  Cinema’s great capacity is to alter time and space and provide certain instruction.  Reflecting the world is not art Classical Theory ­ reality is manipulation,   genius of cinema is to say realism is Always  manipulated and if done right can become pleasant machine and convince spectator that  spectacle more real than reality  *Late 60s, cinema has to mean something    , Truffaut; cinema is its own reality, a betrayal of  cinema is an adaptation of the real, arrival of cinema as declaration of independence Cinema becomes specific to itself and its art unquestionable Contemporary theory:  idea that cinema has essence and structure cast away.  ­Says cinema needs to be understood with other hybrids ­Not whether cinema should be real but what allows cinema to be real ­Talk about linguistics, psycho­analysis, anthropology, philosophy, ideology  ­  Cinema invaded by all of discourses of the age Contemporary theory­ cinema not one expression but meshes many different kinds of hybrids  and interpretors Realism  ;  some ways based on call for cinema to abandon professional actors and set plots, a  attempt to redeem sanctity of everyday life. ­Kind of ecology, believes in world itself and dignity in clear view of it ­Call for film that allows the world expression in its own natural image ­To expose what means if lose contact with metaphysical continuity 4 categories of realism ­ Worldview   ­­ how does is see/see about reality    / Immanence, the idea that the world  carries meaning in its physical self   (Plato and Aristotle), Reality is already meaningful.  Our lives depend on seeing clearly and great art teaches us to recognize meaning.            Immanence carries with it humanism,  world not just important but important for us.             Content of the world important, inner truth at heart of physical        ­ Cinema    ­­ where does cinema belong in this worldview? Cinema’s duty to respect the  world and what is already meaningful. Sense of revealing. ­ Techniques­  what allows cinema to do this? Realism abandons studio contrivence. The long take­­ restores time, deep focus ­­restores space.  ­ Spectator ­­ what kind of spectator is it training?  “ ambiguity” , can pick and chose  meaning for ourselvses. Restored to kind of freedom La Quatro Volte ­ “The 4 times”,  Pathorus’ ideas ,  metempsychosis, migration from one state of being into another, into those which unity the whole world in a sort of meaningful flow,              Pass from human, animal, vegetable, mineral, into the universe,              Emptying from one state into another.  ­ Small mountain village in Italy, utterly ordinary ­ Villagers make charcoal, ordinary routine of old sick shephard. As ingests strange  medicine made from floor of church, watch him die ­ Movement to newborn goat,  indication of cycle of life, ­ Film style one of distant observation, kind of respect, realist style ­ Certain mystery online possible if immersed completely in routine and physical ­ Diagetic soundtrack, as a witness to observation ­ Filmed in long takes, anchored in huge establishing shots with large depth of field ­ Realism has ‘ism’, reality gains its power when has certain stylized quality ­ Movie has humor, kind of ethnographic documentary and organized as a type of  storytelling. Get impression that narrative is not imposed but is the natural flow of the  world.  ­ 8 min. Long take of dog trying to get villagers to recognize master died. Dog opens gates to release goats. Sense of realism of great force in overturning of things and radical  closure


Buy Material

Are you sure you want to buy this material for

25 Karma

Buy Material

BOOM! Enjoy Your Free Notes!

We've added these Notes to your profile, click here to view them now.


You're already Subscribed!

Looks like you've already subscribed to StudySoup, you won't need to purchase another subscription to get this material. To access this material simply click 'View Full Document'

Why people love StudySoup

Steve Martinelli UC Los Angeles

"There's no way I would have passed my Organic Chemistry class this semester without the notes and study guides I got from StudySoup."

Jennifer McGill UCSF Med School

"Selling my MCAT study guides and notes has been a great source of side revenue while I'm in school. Some months I'm making over $500! Plus, it makes me happy knowing that I'm helping future med students with their MCAT."

Jim McGreen Ohio University

"Knowing I can count on the Elite Notetaker in my class allows me to focus on what the professor is saying instead of just scribbling notes the whole time and falling behind."


"Their 'Elite Notetakers' are making over $1,200/month in sales by creating high quality content that helps their classmates in a time of need."

Become an Elite Notetaker and start selling your notes online!

Refund Policy


All subscriptions to StudySoup are paid in full at the time of subscribing. To change your credit card information or to cancel your subscription, go to "Edit Settings". All credit card information will be available there. If you should decide to cancel your subscription, it will continue to be valid until the next payment period, as all payments for the current period were made in advance. For special circumstances, please email


StudySoup has more than 1 million course-specific study resources to help students study smarter. If you’re having trouble finding what you’re looking for, our customer support team can help you find what you need! Feel free to contact them here:

Recurring Subscriptions: If you have canceled your recurring subscription on the day of renewal and have not downloaded any documents, you may request a refund by submitting an email to

Satisfaction Guarantee: If you’re not satisfied with your subscription, you can contact us for further help. Contact must be made within 3 business days of your subscription purchase and your refund request will be subject for review.

Please Note: Refunds can never be provided more than 30 days after the initial purchase date regardless of your activity on the site.