Ian Aitken

in Realist Film Theory and Cinema

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print August 2006 | ISBN: 9780719070006
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781700884 | DOI:

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This chapter highlights that film theory is faced with two related requirements, namely, to extend the range of theoretical perspectives and core concepts available to the discipline, and to connect with ideas from other fields. Realist film theory and cinema provide an overview of nineteenth-century Lukácsian and intuitionist realist film theory. The relationship between philosophical realism and film theory needs to be explored further, as the question of realism and the cinema impinges upon other disciplines, including history, the philosophy and psychology of perception, gender theory, linguistics, phenomenology, information science, ethnography, artificial intelligence theory and branches of cognitivist research. The chapter explains that realism can also furnish models of theory and evidence, which may be particularly useful in the field of the documentary film. All of these constitute possible ways forward for future studies of cinematic realism, studies that may eventually come to establish a new paradigm.

Keywords: realist film theory; gender theory; philosophical realism; documentary film; cinematic realism

Chapter.  1213 words. 

Subjects: Film

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