(Full Text)


On-Line Journals

Winners of the
Palme d'Or
Cannes Film

Movie Magazine's
Top 100

AFI's 100 Greatest
Foreign Films
of all-time

Film Institute
Top 100 American


to Film Theory

Great Traditions
of European

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari

Andre Bazin
and Italian

British Social Realism

The Hollywood

Introduction to
Film Theory


Film & Film Theory

NOTE TO EVERYONE DOING RESEARCH: Please be sure to check out the On the Web page, which includes portals to great sites about directors, the cinemas of different countries, film theory, etc., and a list of On-Line Journals.

Film can be studied on many levels--as an art form, social commentary, historic record, reflection of the Zeitgeist of an era or culture, a philosophical or spiritual experience, or pure entertainment.

The sources listed below are intended as mere introductions to various aspects of modern cinema. Included are general "factual" guides to the history of film making, works on the films of various cultures plus several somewhat theoretical (and a bit esoteric) collections of essays on film theory.

For serious students of film, the first two books listed on the Books page are probably the best places to start. Aitken's book is also recommended.

Film theory is only for the brave-of-mind. It is a daunting field of study, with literally hundreds of perspectives, based upon everything from theories of language and cognition, to Marxist views of reality, theories of psychology, you name it. One year psychological readings of film are "in," the next year they are "out." The last two sites listed on the On the Web page are excellent resources.


A Film Watcher's Vocabulary . Do you know what blocking refers to? Mise en scene? How about montage editing? This glossary explains the basic terms of filmmaking and editing--concepts all students of film should know (KJS Word.doc).

Yale Film Analysis Guide This is a very handy interactive guide with photos and video clips that explains the basic terminology of film making and editing.

Jenkin, Deborah. "Revolution in Film Theory." Lecture from "Film Theory & World Cinema." University of Canberra. 1997. 5 March 2004 (introductiontofilmtheory.doc)
Contains a good overview of key terms used in contemporary literary theory, which, by the way, can also be applied to the interpretation of film (Word.doc).

The following are very basic introductory articles to the major traditions of modern European cinema (as opposed to in-depth scholarly discussions). They are a good place to start if you are writing a paper, or want to review the basic concepts discussed in class. There are good discussions of each of these movements in The Oxford History of World Cinema and An Introduction to World Cinema listed on the BOOKS page in this section.


"Andre Bazin: Divining the Real." Sight and Sound. British Film Institute. August 1999.
4 April 2004 (
Good introductory article on Bazin.

Totaro, Donato. "André Bazin Revisited André Bazin: Part 1, Film Style Theory in its Historical Context." July 31, 2003.
14 August 2004 (
Lengthy scholarly article about Bazin's cinematic beliefs, based upon the philosophy of phenomenology.

Totaro, Donato. "André Bazin Revisited André Bazin: Part 2, Style as a Philosophical Idea." July 31, 2003.
14 August 2004 (
Part II of the article.


Mulvey, Laura. "Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema." This is Laura Mulvey's landmark essay on the male gaze in film. Originally published in Screen (V6 #3: Autumn 1975), it has been republished in many film studies anthologies.

Also see links to the classic feminist theorists listed under Literary Theory (click here).


Horton, Andrew James. "Russian and Soviet Cinema, 1896 - 1953: The Beginnings to the Death of Stalin." GreenCine. 2005. 5 March 2009. (

"Soviet Montage,"

"Soviet Montage Theory." Wikipedia.
4 January 2008 (
Good basic explanation of Eisenstein's theories. Be sure to click on examples from his films.


Horton, Andrew James. "Czech and Slovak Cinema." GreenCine. Be sure to read both parts of the article. Good filmography at the end.
4 February 2006 (


Hudson, David. "German Expressionism."
14 August 2004 (
Good brief introduction.

"German Expressionism."
14 August 2004 (
Brief overview with list of the classic movies of the period.

"German Expressionist Cinema 1919 - 1933 ." Fabianweb.
14 August 2004 (
Another good brief discussion.

Deren, Seçil. "Cinema and Film Industry in Weimar Republic, 1918-1933." The Cradle of Modernity: Politics and Art in Weimar Republic (1918-1933), unpublished MSc thesis submitted to the Graduate School of Social Sciences of the Middle East Technical University, Ankara, 1997, pp. 129-163.
14 August 2004 (
This is a more scholarly discussion, with a short section on Metropolis


Phillips, Craig. "French New Wave." GreenCine. 2004.
14 August 2004 (http://
Another good overview.

"History of the French New Wave,"

"Politics of the French New Wave,"


Ratner, Magan. "Italian Neorealism." 14 August 2005. ( Good introduction.


" A Era of New Waves,"

Armstrong, Richard. "Social Realism: The most 'typically British' of all film genres." ScreenOnline. British Film Institute. 2003. Good brief overview with list of the classic Brit Grit films.
14 August 2004 (


"New German Cinema."
14 August 2004
Brief overview of period. See also Hake's and Elsaesser's works listed on the BOOKS page.


Mintz, S. Digital History. Extremely comprehensive portal to numerous resources about American cinema, with many links to other useful resources.