Narrative, apparatus, ideology : a film theory reader.

Contributor(s): Rosen, Philip.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: New York : Columbia University Press, 1986Description: xi, 549 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.ISBN: 9780231058810.Subject(s): Film, Television and Radio | Motion pictures-Philosophy | Film theory | Moving picturesDDC classification: 791.4301ROS
Item type Current location Collection Call number Status Date due Barcode Item holds
One Week Book One Week Book AUB Library
Book 791.4301 ROS (Browse shelf) Available F18882
Total holds: 0

Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

Smartly selected and organized, the essays in this anthology introduce several central issues in film theory, namely, the classical narrative text, oppositional and avant-garde cinema, subject positioning, the cinematic apparatus, and ideology. Written by seminal scholars, including Christian Metz, Jean-Louis Baudry, Stephen Heath, Peter Wollen, Laura Mulvey, and Noël Burch, as well as such leading thinkers as Roland Barthes, Julia Kristeva, and Jean-François Lyotard, these works utilize a number of approaches in their analyses, particularly structuralism, poststructuralism, psychoanalysis, feminism, neoformalism, Marxism, and semiotics. Divided into sections, the anthology features introductions to each group of essays outlining the major assumptions, ideas, and arguments of the articles and situating them within the history of film theory, narrative analysis, and social and cultural theory.

Table of contents provided by Syndetics

  • Part 1 Structures of Filmic Narrative Introduction: The Saussurian Impulse and Cinema Semiotics
  • 1 ""Classical Hollywood Cinema: Narrational Principles and Procedures""
  • 2 ""Problems of Denotation in the Fiction Film""
  • 3 ""Segmenting/Analyzing""
  • 4 ""The Obvious and the Code""
  • 5 ""The Spectator-in-the-Text: The Rhetoric of Stagecoach""
  • 6 ""Godard and Counter-Cinema: Vent d' Est""
  • 7 ""The Concept of Cinema

Reviews provided by Syndetics


In the wake of structuralism and along with the establishment of literary theory and cultural semiotics as legitimate areas of study, the 1970s produced a large body of influential film theory and criticism. This collection brings together a good number of seminal and representative examples of that work (by important figures like Metz, Bellour, Baudry, Heath, Mulvey, and many others), organized knowledgeably and thoughtfully around four of its major thematic concerns: film's narrative structures, film and the human subject, the cinematic apparatus, and film as an ideological system. Rosen introduces each section, giving concise and lucid accounts of the background to some of the theory (structural linguistics, Lacanian psychoanalysis, etc.). The collection does have its limitations. In particular, this work constitutes only one kind of film theory (albeit an immensely important kind), and the collection gives little indication either of its place in the history of thinking about film or of the way in which it has been both elaborated and criticized in the 1980s. Also, a lot of the essays here demand much more thorough explanation of their theoretical assumptions (especially those drawn from psychoanalysis) than even Rosen's neat introductions can provide. And this limitation is not helped by the lack of both index and bibliography. However, this is the only readily available and accessible collection devoted to this kind of theory, and it will be a much sought after resource for film students (both graduate and undergraduate) and scholars, as well as for others interested in poststructuralist cultural theory.-P. Smith, Carnegie-Mellon University