Film Studies A Focused On Film And Cinema As An Art Form

Film Studies is growing field of academic study that is focused on the critical appraisal and appreciation of cinema as a form of art together with its role in shaping contemporary society and culture. Scholars in the field concerns themselves with analyzing how best to view and appraise movies in order to understand all their many meanings and impacts. The discipline sits within the larger fields of media and cultural studies.

The subject is not focused on the technical aspects of filmmaking or production. Rather it is concerned with exploring its non-technical aspects such as the narrative, aesthetics, artistic, ideological, cultural, economic, and political implications of cinema.

Academic journals have introduced many important concepts in cinema theory over the years and remain and important vehicle for the exchange of ideas. For instance Laura Mulvey, the leading cinema theorist and British university professor, published her famous 1975 article titled Visual Pleasure & Narrative Cinema in Screen. The article employed a Freudian psychoanalytic framework to analyze how women are portrayed in cinema. Her article was the first serios writing to tackle the issue in this way; it combined cinema theory with psychoanalysis and feminist thinking. Mulvey remains active today as professor of cinema and media studies at the Birkbeck College, University of London, Bloomsbury.

Given the commercial dominance of Hollywood movies on contemporary culture, it may surprise many some people to learn that Russia and Europe have had a strong influence on both filmmaking and theory. A clear example is the Moscow Film School. This institution, founded in 1919, and was the first school in the world to focus on the production of movies.

Similarly, the first dedicated cinema theorist and critic was Andre Bazin (1918-1958), a Frenchman born in the provincial town of Angers located south west of Paris. He began writing on cinema during the World War II in 1943, when he was 25 years of age. He subsequently co-founded the influential magazine Cahiers du cinema in 1951 with two other colleagues, Lo Duca and Doniol-Valcroze.

A 4 volume set of Bazin writings was published and released after his death. Those volumes were titled Qu’est-ce que le cinema? (What is Cinema?) and released over the years 1958 to 1962. A selection of those essays was translated into English and published as two volumes, the first in the late 1960s and the other in the early 1970s.

Bazin also favored films that presented an objective reality rather than indulging in blatant fake manipulations of reality. He supported documentaries and films crafted on the lines of Italian neorealism. From a technical viewpoint, he encouraged directors to render themselves invisible in their films; he supported advocated deep focus shots and wide shots; he discouraged adding meaning through montage favoring instead continuity via mise en scene.

Not all Bazin views are supported by contemporary film studies scholars. He is nonetheless celebrated as an original thinker of his time. Francois Truffaut dedicated his The 400 Blows to Bazin who, coincidentally, died only one day after shooting for the movie started.

Tarintino had to start somewhere. Film school can open the door to a lucrative and enjoyable career. The industry requires hard work and long hours so get started at a Canadian Art Institute. If film does not interest you then try taking web design courses or photography courses.

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