Perkins’ scrutiny of shot, scene, film, and cinema is an effective formula for determining what cinema can be. Current essay provides a comparative analysis of formalist and realist film theories, based on theoretical approaches, innovations, critical findings and film-making practice of such renowned representatives of both currents of the film theory as Eisenstein, Arnheim and Bazin. In a time of revolution a new form of literary theory also emerged. Most directors who are great stylists are formalists to some degree. From there, he determines how the film fits into our world through Freudian psychoanalysis, which, in short, is a formulated study of the human subconscious. Both stories have internal battles of good and evil. Wood’s methodology starts with an analysis of the director’s choice, and its subsequent effect on the viewer. Most directors who are great stylists are formalists to some degree. ( Log Out /  Feminist study, such as writing about how women have been both negatively and positively represented in film. According to The Routledge Encyclopedia of Film Theory, Film Theory is “…a set of scholarly approaches within the academic discipline of cinema studies that question the essentialism of cinema and provides conceptual frameworks for understanding film's relationship to reality, the other arts, individual viewers, and society at large." Which of the following best applies to the Formalism approach to studying film The chief focus could be on patterns such as narrative openings and closings, the significant repetition and variation of camera techniques, or the relation of shots and sequences to each other. In Wood’s simply titled article, “Psycho”, he states: Hence the insistence on eyes, into which the camera, our own eyes, makes us look, to see the dark places of the human soul beyond. Two of the most popular and widely exercised approaches to film analysis are the Formalist and Ideological approaches. Formalist film theory is an approach to film theory that is focused on the formal, or technical, elements of a film: i.e., the lighting, scoring, sound and set design, use of color, shot composition, and editing. ( Log Out /  When the officer comes to the window to speak with Marion, who is quite nervous as she has just stolen $40,000, it is noticeable that the neither the spectator, nor Marion, can see into the police officer’s eyes. The ideological approach to film, practiced by such notable film figures as Russian director and theorist Sergei Eisenstein as well as British film theorist and feminist Laura Mulvey, also analyzes film through psychoanalysis of the viewer, but with different motives and intents than that of the formalist approach. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. The eyes are a common theme throughout Psycho, highlighted in such scenes as when psycho Norman Bates peeps through a hole in the wall to watch Marion undress, as well as in the conclusion to the famous shower scene in which the camera spirals, zooming out from Marion’s dead eye. Perkins, the British film critic, professor, and notable formalist film theorist picks apart films by looking at how the shot fits into a sequence, sequence into film, and film into cinema as a whole. His final consideration is asking how the film demonstrates what film can be, interpreting the film as a whole and finding its place in cinema. The Formalist Theory A film theory is a discipline, which encompasses different aspects of cinema in order to explore different concepts regarding this form of expression. Although I find both Perkins’ and Mulvey’s approaches to film worthwhile and significant, Wood’s method of studying film as it pertains to the spectator appeals to me most, for it focuses on the spectator’s perception. Wood is another British film critic and professor, known for a slightly more spectator based, formalist approach. To get into the concept of formalist film theory, one has to talk about the film in terms of the formal or technical elements within the film. On the whole, the formalist approach to film study rests on the subjective viewer’s response to film, which I believe is the heart of the cinematic experience. The formalist approach as exercised by Wood helps to decipher these recurring themes, thus maximizing film appreciation. This form of analysis derails from what I find to be more imperative, the understanding of the film through the spectator’s eyes, whether or not that includes the consideration of such outside factors raised in ideological theory. Formalism attempts to treat each work as its own distinct piece, free from its environment, era, and even author. The film usually presents extraordinary characters and events. The Formalist Theory. ( Log Out /  In the movie The Matrix, color, shots, and angles are used to illustrate the idea of formalism. ( Log Out /  ( Log Out /  Perkins’ approach works best as a secondary stage in film analysis, to be preceded by Wood’s description driven approach. Common formalist approaches include analysis of style and narrative, as well as literary and artistic criticism. Most importantly, however, I believe my approach to Hindi film dances enables me to explore “Bollywood dance” as a site of reception of Hindi film dances as they move from films to stage. This process can be applied to every film, thus furthering the field of film study. The assessment of a piece of artwork is based purely on the artist’s skilland not on the choice of subject matter, with the value based primarily on the use o… The idea originates in ancient Greek metaphysics. I really enjoy picking apart sequence (like Perkins’ approach)! ( Log Out /  Elements like color, shapes, textures, and line are emphasized, while the context of the work is de-emphasized, and made a secondary characteristic—at times taken completely out of consequence. parts of a … Plato (c. 430--347 B … I really like that these filmmakers really focused on the content of their film and analysed the best ways they could present the story and its background. Film analysis is the process in which film is analyzed in terms of semiotics, narrative structure, cultural context, and mise-en-scene, among other approaches. Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, John McIntire, John Gavin. It would certainly be impractical in many situations… but I enjoy it anyway! Dir. The goal of ideological film theory is to realize, as a result of the film, how the world is or should be seen by way of the director’s vision. In the beginning Russian formalist were trying to convert their theories from literary art to film. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. Formalist film makers shape and mold the images we see on the screen the way a sculptor shapes and molds clay. pub. In the world of film study, there are multiple theories that can be applied for the purpose of film analysis. More simply stated, Perkins considers why the film is as it is, analyzing editing and camera techniques and their effects on the spectator. Yet, for some it is still the medium to dream in. Wood’s theory also considers cultural reflections and assumptions exhibited in the film. My rather formalist approach to Hindi film dances provides a foundation for investigating these dances in way that will allow me to expand on this research in the future. ( Log Out /  “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema”, Screen 16.3, 1975. Formalist film first came about in the 1920s, this is when formalist filmmakers were trying to legitimate themselves as artists. In studying both formalist and ideological approaches, I believe Wood’s formalist approach serves film analysis best to fully appreciate cinema as a whole. ( Log Out /  Support: V.F. In the field of literary criticism, a formalist approach is one that studies a text as a text and nothing more. The exposure of the eyes leaves the character vulnerable, open to the viewer’s scrutiny, allowing access to their soul. It is the study of a text without taking into account any outside influence. Formalism emphases aesthetics and style over reality. April 1, 2018. Their approach to film emphasizes their ability to create story and emotion through manipulation. When you look into these theories closely, you can start to understand how and why formalist filmmakers crafted their films, and what theories we can take onto our filmmaking. According to this method, representation is based on formal structure and not content. 4. This point of view developed in reaction to "...forms of 'extrinsic' criticism that viewed the text as either the product of social and historical forces or a document making an ethical statement" (699). As formalist theory in film progressed in the 1980s concepts of Russian formalist films were taken to create Neo-formalism. Finally, we apply what we know about the film, its effects, and its greatness, to determine how the film fits into our, the audience’s, world. NEO-REALISM: Andre Bazin. Mulvey, Laura. The ideological approach as a whole has its place in film theory and critique, answering questions posed about cinema, utilizing psychoanalysis to conclude how we, the audience, should see film. Perhaps the reason I relate to Wood’s formalist theory of film analysis is because the answer to the question “why is film great?” truly lies within the spectator being questioned. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Mulvey’s approach exercises feminist values as a part of the ideological goal to ascertain how the world should be perceived in response to film. Today, it is a major approach in film studies What is the significance here? In an article titled “Film as Film” by V.F. New York: De Capo Press., 1993. I believe the Formalist Approach to be the more effective method of studying film because it is important to consider the moment or scene of a film not just in relation to the outside world, but within the context of the film in which it resides. It is the study of a text without taking into account any outside influence. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. This modern film theory is used to evoke certain emotions or mental states with the help of technical cinematic facets such as lighting, scoring, sound and set design. Key characteristics of formalism is the theoretical and critical emphasis on form. Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. It began in two groups: OPOYAZ , an acronym for Russian words meaning Society for the Study of Poetic Language, founded in 1916 at St. Petersburg (later Leningrad) and led by Viktor Shklovsky ; and the Moscow Linguistic Circle , founded in 1915. In Film Studies, the formalist tradition covers everything from the Russian formalists (see Eagle, 1981) to Rudolf Arnheim's pioneering Film as Art (1957), Christian Metz's film semiotics (1974a; 1974b; Buckland, 1999); Noël Burch's study of film's formal principles (1981); Edward Branigan's description of point of view in narrative cinema (1984); Raymond Bellour's shot-by-shot analyses of film segments (2000); …

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