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Aesthetics of Film

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Table of Contents

Translator's Note Introduction Typologies of Written Work on the Cinema The Popular Press Publications Directed at Cinephiles Theoretical and Aesthetic Writings Theories of the Cinema and Aesthetics of the Cinema An Indigenous Theory A Descriptive Theory Film Theory and Aesthetics Theory of the Cinema and Technical Practice Film Theories 1. Film as Audiovisual Representation Film Space Techniques of Depth Perspective Depth of Field The Concept of the Shot The Cinema as Audio Representation The Economic-Technical Factors and Their History Aesthetic and Ideological Factors 2. Montage The Principle of Editing The Objects of Editing Modes of Action in Editing Montage: The Large Definition of Editing The Functions of Montage The Empirical Approach Toward More Systematic Description Ideologies of Montage Andre Bazin and the Cinema of Transparency S. M. Eisenstein and the Dialectical Cinema 3. Cinema and Narration Narrative Cinema The Cinema Encounters Narration Non-narrative Cinema: A Difficult Boundary Narrative Cinema: Objects and Objectives of Film Study The Fiction Film Every Film Is a Fiction Film The Problem of the Referent Narrative, Narration, and Diegesis Narrative Codes, Functions, and Characters Realism in the Cinema Realism and the Materials of Expression The Realism of Film Subject Matter The Plausible The Genre Effect The Impression of Reality 4. Cinema and Language Film Language An Ancient Notion The First Theorists The Film Grammars The Classical Conception of Language A Language without Signs The Cinema: Language or Language System? Film Language and Language System(s) Film's Intelligibility The Heterogeneity of Film Language The Materials of Expression The Concept of Code in Semiology The Codes Specific to the Cinema Nonspecific Codes The Textual Analysis of Film The Concept of Film Text in Language and Cinema Case Study: The Textual System of D. W Griffith's Intolerance The Notion of Text in Literary Semiotics The Originality and Consequence of Textual Analysis 5. Film and Its Spectator The Film Spectator The Conditions of the Representative Illusion The "Working" of the Spectator Filmology's Spectator The Film Spectator as Imaginary Person A New Approach to the Film Spectator The Film Spectator and Identification in Film The Role of Identification in the Formation of the Ego Identification as Narcissistic Regression Double Identification in the Cinema Primary Identification in the Cinema Secondary Identification in the Cinema Identification and Structure Identification and Enunciation The Film Spectator and the Psychoanalytic Subject Feminist Theory and the Spectator Conclusion Notes Bibliography Index

About the Author

Jacques Aumont is Professor Emeritus at the Universite de la Sorbonne Nouvelle in Paris.


"The single most comprehensive survey of the subject yet written. This masterful book provides a critical and concise introduction to nearly 100 years of philosophic inquiry into the cinema. . . . Aesthetics of Film is likely to become an essential text for the classroom and will provid e an excellent backbone to the collegiate syllabus." * Choice *

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