The Latest Laocoön: Medium Specificity and the History of Film Theory

Brian Price

in The Oxford Handbook of Film and Media Studies

Published in print September 2008 | ISBN: 9780195175967
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Literature

 The Latest Laocoön: Medium Specificity and the History of Film Theory

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This article examines the history of film theory and the concept of medium specificity. The first section of the article focuses on film theory, which has been called “Grand Theory” and the “1975 Film Theory” by David Bordwell and Noël Carroll. It notes Laura Mulvey's influence on film theory, and shows that there has been a retreat from film theory. Terry Eagleton observed that the decline of theory coincided with the rise of fundamentalism in American political life. The second section takes a look at medium specificity, which has been derived from philosophical aesthetics. Classical film theory, the emergence of filmmakers as film theorists, and the inclusion of realism into film theories are discussed.

Keywords: film theory; medium specificity; David Bordwell; Noël Carroll; fundamentalism; classical film theory; realism

Article.  22173 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Film

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