Theories of cinema, 1945-1995

Austin: University of Texas Press (1999)
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Abstract

The study of film entered a new era after World War II, as cinema became an acceptable focus for intellectual inquiry. The many ways in which cinema has been imagined, studied, and discussed in the last fifty years are the subject of this comprehensive overview of film theory in the United States and Europe since 1945. Francesco Casetti groups his essays around principal movements in film studies. In the first part of the book, he reviews the attempts at defining the "essence" of cinema during the 1950s. Then he explores disciplinary approaches to cinema--psychological, sociological, semiotic, and psychoanalytic--popular in the 1960s and 1970s. Finally, he focuses on "field" theories--cinema and politics, the critique of representation, feminist film theory, neo-disciplinary tendencies, cultural and aesthetic studies, and the new approaches to film history. Theories of Cinema was originally published in Italy, where it won the Premio Domenico Meccoli--Scrivere di cinema 1993 of the Centro dello Spettacolo in Rome. This is its first English translation. The author has revised and updated this edition to cover the years 1945-1995.

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