European Film Theory and Cinema

European Film Theory and Cinema

A Critical Introduction
Ian Aitken
Distribution: Canada and United States of America
Publication date: 08/01/2001
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 978-0-253-21505-5
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European Film Theory and Cinema explores the major film theories and movements within European cinema since the early 1900s. An original and critically astute study, it considers film theory within the context of the intellectual climate of the last two centuries. Ian Aitkin focuses particularly on the two major traditions that dominate European film theory and cinema: the "intuitionist modernist and realist" tradition and the "post-Saussurian" tradition. The first originates in a philosophical lineage that encompasses German idealist philosophy, romanticism, phenomenology, and the Frankfurt School. Early intuitionist modernist film culture and later theories and practices of cinematic realism are shown to be part of one continuous tradition. The post-Saussurian tradition includes semiotics, structuralism, and post-structuralism.

Author Bio

Ian Aitken is a Senior Research Fellow at De Montfort University. He is author of The Documentary Film Movement and The Cinema of Alberto Cavalcanti.

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Table of Contents



1. Didacticism and Intuition in Russian Formalism and Weimar Film Theory
2. Determinism and Symbolism in the Film Theory of Eisenstein
3. Aestheticism and Engagement in Weimar Cinematic Modernism and Soviet Montage Cinema
4. Into the Realm of the Wondrous: French Cinematic Impressionism
5. The World Well Lost: From Structuralism to Relativism
6. From Political Modernism to Postmodernism
7. The Redemption of Physical Reality: Theories of Realism in Grierson, Kracauer, Bazin, and Lukács
8. Late European Cinema and Realism
9. Post-war Italian and Spanish Realist Cinema


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