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Directory of Theory and Criticism Resources

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Film theory seeks to develop concise, systematic concepts that apply to film and video. Classical film theory provides a structural framework to address issues of techniques, narrativity, diegesis, cinematic codes, "the image", genre, subjectivity, and authorship. More recent analysis has given rise to psychoanalytic film theory, structuralist film theory, feminist film theory, and theories of documentary, new media, third cinema, and new queer cinema, to name just a few. Film criticism is, on some level, encapsulated within this rubric, and includes questions about how and why film works, and what effects it has on viewing subjects. These techniques can be applied to individual films, but it is usually aligned with theoretical concepts of the medium. Notice how this is distinct from film review (or film commentary), which is usually written for a general audience and is generally not theoretical.


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