Criticism : aims to evaluate the merits of a film AND explore thematic content
• How are the shots designed and composed?
• How effective is the direction of actors?
• What contribution does performance make to the whole?
• How is the story told?
• Is thematic content supported by structural design?
• What it is as a medium?
• How it works?
• How it embodies meaning for viewers?
• What kind of meanings it embodies?
• Andre Bazin ▯represent special wholeness and ambiguities of reality; give audience freedom of
• Minimize the importance of editing:
o Deepfocus cinematography: a great distance separates sharply focused foreground and
o Longtake cinematography: shots of long duration
• Connects film’s style with a viewer’s physical and perceptual experience of the world
• Stresses the ethical contract between a filmmakers and an audience
• Challenges filmmakers and viewers to think about the cinema’s potential for unfairly
manipulating its audiences
• Minimizes the degree to which deepfocuslongtake cinematography can shape the viewer’s
perception Auteurist Theory ▯studies film authors
• Consistency in theme and design throughout director’s films
• Cinematic techniques, stories, and themes
• Elevates cinema to a real level of art; legitimizes the film industry
• Film production is collaborative… There is more than one author for every aspect of the film
Psychoanalytic Theory ▯emphasizes film elicitation of unconscious sources of pleasure and desire
• Condensation: psychic energy and impulses become condensed into one or more resonant
• Displacement: substitute images that take the place of fundamental and forbidden desire
• Examines the dreamlike qualities of film narrative and film technique
• Emphasize the complex ways that films arouse an audience’s repressed emotions and desires
• Cannot extend itself to explain ALL dimensions of an audience’s emotional response to movies
o SOME responses are rational and can be explained for themselves
Ideological Theory ▯examine the relationship between movies and society… How does film
represent social and political realities?
• Ideological Point of View = takes a stance on a social, cultural, racial, etc., issues
o Position 1: Ideological Support = positive support of social values
(ex. war film ▯bravery, heroism in war)