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Post-Theory: Reconstructing Film Studies [Anglais] [Broché]

David Bordwell , Noel Carroll

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With "Post-Theory," David Bordwell and Noel Carroll challenge the prevailing practices of film scholarship. Since the 1970s, film scholars have been searching for a unified theory that will explain all sorts of films, their production, and their reception; the field has been dominated by structuralist Marxism, varieties of cultural theory, and the psychoanalytic ideas of Freud and Lacan. Bordwell and Carroll ask, why not employ many theories tailored to specific goals, rather than searching for a unified theory? "Post-Theory" offers fresh directions for understanding film, presenting new essays by twenty-seven scholars on topics as diverse as film scores, audience response, and the national film industries of Russia, Scandinavia, the U.S., and Japan. They use historical, philosophical, psychological, and feminist methods to tackle such basic issues as: What goes on when viewers perceive a film? How do filmmakers exploit conventions? How do movies create illusions? How does a film arouse emotion? Bordwell and Carroll have given space not only to distinguished film scholars but to non-film specialists as well, ensuring a wide variety of opinions and ideas on virtually every topic on the current agenda of film studies. Full of stimulating essays published here for the first time, "Post-Theory" promises to redefine the study of cinema.

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Amazon.com: 3.7 étoiles sur 5  6 commentaires
19 internautes sur 22 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 An important gesture for film studies 27 novembre 2004
Par JCW - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
The one-star review of this book from "a common reader" warns that this book will "muddle your thoughts." That reviewer's thoughts are certainly muddled, though it probably isn't this book's fault. If you can only read a third of a book, you might not want to review it. Contrary to this review, the authors represented in this collection do not make observations that "any film fan" could intuit, but rather mobilize complex historical, institutional, and theoretical concepts that require long and careful study that go beyond the intuition of a casual film fan. Moreover, this book is of interest to more than "20 people," and was extremely controversial among the large international body of film and media scholars whose discipline this book critiques. Just because the "common reader" might not be interested in advanced theoretical studies of film doesn't mean nobody else could possibly be interested - other people who committ their lives to the study of the moving image found, and continue to find, this a very important and ground-breaking book. Yes, some of the essays are rather weak - like any collection of essays, Post Theory has its ups and downs, but its open challenge to the dotrines of film and media studies as it is practiced by thousands of scholars and hundreds of thousands of students all over the world is a very important gesture for film studies. Bordwell's and Carroll's two introductions are especially good, summarizing the field's theoretical and methological preoccupations very well and asking very disruptive and thought-provoking questions about them.

Yes, if you are a film fan looking for a good introduction to the study of film, this is not the book for you. It does not advertise itself as such a book; it is explicitly aimed at professional film scholars (and there are more than 20 of them). But if you are interested in the current state of speculative writing on film and are already familiar with basic concepts, then this is a very good collection.

Finally, contrary to what the "common reader" review suggests, this book is avowedly ANTI-psychoanalytic. It challenges psychoanalytic film theory and attempts to advance more sensible, and clearer, theoretical models and approaches into the field. To construe this book in any way as psychoanalytic is go misunderstand it completely.
6 internautes sur 7 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Excellent, thought-provoking book 12 juin 2007
Par Steward Willons - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
There is a fair amount of confusion surrounding this book, thanks in part to Slavoj Zizek's irresponsibly shallow summary of Bordwell and Carroll's motivation and purpose for this collection. Zizek's "the Fright of Real Tears" has some redeeming qualities, but it begins as an all-out attack on Bordwell's idea of Post-Theory without actually bothering to understand just WHAT Bordwell means by "Post-Theory". Zizek assumes that Bordwell is yet another anti-Lacanian empiricist who can't tell his structuralism from his deconstruction from his Lacanian psychoanalysis from his modernism etc. etc.

This is completely unfounded. Anyone who reads the introduction will understand that Bordwell doesn't wish to thrash these theories, but rather wants to propose alternatives. I'm sure most would agree that Lacan isn't the only path to successful film criticism. Of course he was influential and will continue to be, but Bordwell would like to see new modes of discourse rise to, as the title states, "reconstruct film studies".

This book is definitely not Anti-Theory. It is arguing for an alternative to what Bordwell calls "Grand theory" (i.e. structuralism, post-structuralism, postmodernism, psychoanalysis, feminism). Again, he is not saying to forget these important theories, but to consider other options. In this way, the book is extremely valuable. Whether Bordwell finds new and useful paths to film criticism is up to you. I think some of the essays here present cogent arguments. Regardless, it's always worthwhile when someone challenges the status quo with such skill and academic rigor.

Now, I like Zizek as much as anyone, but we all know he can be hasty and oversimplify major issues (his book on Deleuze is a great example). My reason for dwelling on Zizek is that "The Fright of Real Tears" is very convincing in its argument that Bordwell is going down a worthless path with the idea of Post-Theory. That is, until you actually read Post-Theory for yourself.

I think everyone who is passionate about film studies and its future should give this book a read. Lacan is and will continue to be useful for the study of visual arts, but we would be silly to ignore other avenues.
3 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 "Down with the Theory! Long live theory" 22 novembre 2006
Par J. Juliano - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
This collection of essays, organized by David Bordwell and Noel Carroll, puts forth an argument against the long-standing Grand Theory often invoked by film scholars. Bordwell, Carroll, and their contributors all take different approaches to writing about film in order to demonstrate that there is no need to invoke "the Theory" (a synthesis of post-structuralism, Marxism, semiotics, and Lacanian psychoanalysis) when theorizing about films. Insisting on logical argument and evidence (both textual and reception-based), the essays in this collection are a great rebuke to the throttling of creativity and new ideas wrought by the hegemony of Theory in film studies. A great read for anyone in film, literature, or cultural studies who wants a different take on theoretical pursuits than those proposed by the old school followers of Althusser, Barthes, Metz, et al. Not every essay is fantastic, of course. But if you're interested in rationalism and logic and tired of the assumptions and lack of proof in Theory, you're likely to find at least one piece here that argues for your perspective.
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Dense but intriguing 12 janvier 2014
Par Alexandra Roedder - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
Some of the essays are dull and dense, as some scholarly essays can be, but they throw many of the conventional wisdoms of film music studies into a new light and question our assumptions.
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Provocative 24 juin 2008
Par McColl - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
This collection remains relevant and likely will for some time. It is diverse and contains new essays by thoughtful, engaged scholars. Bordwell's particular critique of what he calls Grand Theory remains unconvincing to me, but his argument for a kind of middle theory is appealing. Academic departments (often unknowingly) promote a kind of formula for criticism in which the big idea comes first, and individual works serve as illustrations for that big idea. Bordwell advocates starting with the works themselves and working from there. It's an admirable wish, one that he himself cannot follow, as his other texts show. (One can't leave one's ideology at the door, especially if one cannot recognize it.) Don't bother reading this book if you can't tell the difference between Porter and Griffith or between Freud and Lacan. Don't order it if you cannot define poststructuralist theory--the essays' critique of it will only confuse you. And this book is definitely not for readers who dislike the rigor of literary and film theory more generally: it will not give them the ammo they seek. Instead, it is for those readers who want a provocative, well-rounded collection of essays that extend their focus beyond mere reviews.
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