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Narrative, Apparatus, Ideology: A Film Theory Reader Paperback – 14 Oct 1986

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Intoxicating analyses of films dance alongside the most far-reaching theories of signification and history. Yet through it all Philip Rosen maintains a sober eye, pointing out the backgrounds of these performers and the consequences of their gestures. Under his measured gaze this dizzying flight of ideas takes on a pattern, or rather multiple patterns, that will keep us thinking and talking for a long time to come. Read either for the careful continuity of these introductions or for the dramatic intensity of the individual pieces, the anthology must reward the student, the initiated, and the merely curious. -- Dudley Andrew, Yale University, author of What Cinema Is! Exceptionally well-crafted... Narrative, Apparatus, Ideology achieves a substantial contextual horizon, through Philip Rosen's impeccable positioning of essays within an intellectual history. In addition to this, his collection successfully strives for representativeness on such a number of significant fronts that it promises to provide a very engrossing forum for the introduction and discussion of contemporary film theory in the classroom. -- Barbara Klinger Journal of Film and Video A much sought-after resource. Choice Rosen's collection continues to be a classic and irreplaceable guide to contemporary film theory. This essential anthology includes key texts by Roland Barthes, Raymond Bellour, Christian Metz, David Bordwell, and others, as well as superb contextual essays by Rosen for each section of the book. -- David Rodowick Harvard University

About the Author

Philip Rosen is professor of modern culture and media at Brown University and works in the fields of film theory and history, with special attention to the question of culture and ideology and to historiography and temporality in the contexts of national cinemas. He is the author of Change Mummified: Cinema, Historicity, Theory and coeditor of Cinema Histories, Cinema Practices.

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At the high point of the so-called structuralist movement (centered in France in the mid-1960s), there was intensive interest in analyzing diverse phenomena investigated in a number of distinct fields (e.g., anthropology, sociology, philosophy, literature, film) by "reading" their objects of analysis through a concept of structure derived from certain aspects of classical structural linguistics. Read the first page
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Amazon.com: 3 reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
"the" film theory reader 23 Sep 2005
By Q&A - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I'm shocked to see that this excellent book has not be reviewed already! This is a collection of major contributions to the field of film theory. This may sound staid or passe, but it most certainly is not! Its merits are that it not only introduces the intellectual history of film theory (through the essays themselves, and through the editor's introductions to each major section, which lay out the intellectual terrain and major concepts dealt with in the essays), but it gathers a selection of essays, all of which are high-points in the field of "thinking about media". (The Mulvey, Baudry, Metz and Lyotard essays are some of my personal favorites.) For whatever reason, film theory from the 1960s to the 1980s was the major battleground for debates over the image - its power, technologies, spectators, ideologies. While the essays obviously focus on the cinematic image - and its attendant characteristics of sound and narrative - they offer inspiration and food-for-thought for thinking about the image technologies that are perhaps even more prevalent now than cinema: television and digital media. I guess what I'm trying to get at is that the essays here are not only interesting for understanding the way film theory developed, but also - and for me especially - for how exciting so many of these essays in this volume are on their own. They are excellent examples of how WELL (engagingly? intelligently? provocatively? politically?) a person can think about the moving image. Inspiring!

Note that while there are other collections of film theory, I would go with this one - both for the quality of the editor's introductions, and the SUPERB selection of texts.
Good overview, intellectually challenging 27 Nov 2012
By Taylor - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read this book as part of a graduate-level course while I was an undergrad, and though I would seriously struggle to get through it without the guidance of a professor, it provided a fantastic selection of important essays that made a good jumping-off point for discussion. It is one of the few textbooks I've kept after graduation; many of the phrases are "translated" in my notes on the page, but it's great to come back to when I'm looking to challenge myself a bit.
0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Tough to Read 11 Feb 2011
By Jera - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I HAD to get this for a film theory class. A lot of it was completely over my head, and I had a 3.8gpa in college, so I guess I'm lacking! ha ha Probably good if you have a dictionary of sorts to look up some of the words as you go, I'd never even heard of some of them before. Too "stuffy" for my taste.
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