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Macmillan Higher Education Palgrave Higher Education

Understanding Film Theory

Edition 2nd Edition
ISBN 9781137528230
Publication Date September 2017
Formats Paperback Ebook Hardcover 
Publisher Palgrave

Film theory has a reputation for being challenging. Often requiring time and effort to fully grasp it and seeming rather old-fashioned, it can be difficult to approach the subject with enthusiasm and appreciate its relevance to modern day.

Understanding Film Theory aims to disassociate theory from these connotations and bring a fresh, modern and accessible approach to the discipline. Now comprehensively updated in a second edition, the book’s sixteen chapters - including a new chapter on Adaptations - continue to provide an insight into the main areas of debate. Taking the application of theory as its central theme, the text incorporates a number of innovative features: ‘Reflect and Respond’ sections encourage readers to engage critically with theoretical concepts, while seminal texts are concisely summarised without oversimplifying key points.

Throughout the book the authors illustrate why theory is important and demonstrate how it can be applied in a meaningful way, with relevant case studies drawn from both classic and contemporary cinema including: Once Upon a Time in the West (1968), Run Lola Run (1998), The Hunger Games (2012), Blue is the Warmest Colour (2013) and The Lego Movie (2014). Additional case studies address key genres (the British Gangster film and the musical), film movements (Dogme 95), individual actors (Ryan Gosling, Judi Dench and Amitabh Bachchan) and directors (Alfred Hitchcock and Guillermo del Toro).

Understanding Film Theory is an approachable and extensive introduction to film theory. It is the ideal entry point for any student studying film, using clear definitions and explaining complex ideas succinctly.

Ruth Doughty is the Programme Leader in Film Studies at Liverpool John Moores University, UK. She is one of the co-founding editors of the journal Transnational Cinemas and co-edited Sound and Music in Film and Visual Media (2009).

Christine Etherington-Wright is Senior Lecturer and Course Leader for the BA Film Studies at the University of Portsmouth, UK. She is the author of Gender, Professions, Discourse (Palgrave, 2008). 

1. Auteur Theory
2. Adaptations
3. Genre Theory
4. Formalism
5. Structuralism and Post-structuralism
6. Marxism
7. Realism
8. Postmodernism
9. Psychoanalysis
10. Feminism
11. Masculinity
12. Queer Theory
13. Race and Ethnicity
14. Postcolonial and Transnational Cinemas
15. Stars
16. Audience Research and Reception
16. Conclusion.


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