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Best Film Theory Books You Must Read

Below I’ll give you my selections for the best Film Theory books by a few categories. I will cover these and other great books more in depth later.

Understanding Film Theory (2017)

 Best Film Theory Books You Must ReadThis essential core textbook provides an approachable and extensive introduction to film theory, written by two highly experienced senior lecturers. Bringing a fresh, contemporary and accessible approach to what is often perceived to be a challenging and old-fashioned area of film studies that requires time and effort to grasp, the text illustrates why theory is important and demonstrates how it can be applied in a meaningful way.
Author(s): Ruth Doughty, Christine Etherington-Wright

Film Studies: An Introduction (Film and Culture Series) (2009)

 Best Film Theory Books You Must ReadEd Sikov builds a step-by-step curriculum for the appreciation of all types of narrative cinema, detailing the essential elements of film form and systematically training the spectator to be an active reader and critic.
Author(s): Ed Sikov

Film Theory and Criticism: Introductory Readings (2016)

 Best Film Theory Books You Must ReadSince publication of the first edition in 1974, Leo Braudy and Marshall Cohen’s Film Theory and Criticism has been the most widely used and cited anthology of critical writings about film. Now in its eighth edition, this landmark text continues to offer outstanding coverage of more than a century of thought and writing about the movies.
Author(s): Leo Braudy, Marshall Cohen

Film Theory (2015)

 Best Film Theory Books You Must ReadWhat is the relationship between cinema and spectator? This is the key question for film theory, and one that Thomas Elsaesser and Malte Hagener put at the center of their insightful and engaging book, now revised from its popular first edition.
Author(s): Thomas Elsaesser, Malte Hagener

Critical Visions in Film Theory (2010)

 Best Film Theory Books You Must ReadEmbracing groundbreaking approaches without ignoring the history of classical film theory, Critical Visions in Film Theory encompasses the broader, more inclusive perspective of film theory today, focusing on topics such as race, gender and sexuality, and new media.
Author(s): Timothy Corrigan , Patricia White , et al.

Literature into Film: Theory And Practical Approaches (2006)

 Best Film Theory Books You Must ReadFor most people, film adaptation of literature can be summed up in one sentence: "The movie wasn’t as good as the book." This volume undertakes to show the reader that not only is this evaluation not always true but sometimes it is intrinsically unfair. Movies based on literary works, while often billed as adaptations, are more correctly termed translations. A director and his actors translate the story from the written page into a visual presentation.
Author(s): Linda Costanzo Cahir, James M. Welsh

Film Theory: The Basics (2016)

 Best Film Theory Books You Must ReadFilm Theory: The Basics provides an accessible introduction to the key theorists, concepts, and debates that have shaped the study of moving images. It examines film theory from its emergence in the early twentieth century to its study in the present day, and explores why film has drawn special attention as a medium, as a form of representation, and as a focal point in the rise of modern visual culture.
Author(s): Kevin McDonald

Film Theory: An Introduction (2000)

 Best Film Theory Books You Must ReadProviding a collection of some of the most provocative and influential writings of film theory in the past thirty years, this anthology aims to provide a polylogue among theorists, deprovincializing the subject. Film Theory multiplies the perspectives and positions, the situations and locations, from which film theory is spoken.
Author(s): Robert Stam

Film Theory and Criticism (2009)

 Best Film Theory Books You Must ReadSince publication of the first edition in 1974, Leo Braudy and Marshall Cohen’s Film Theory and Criticism has been the most widely used and cited anthology of critical writings about film. Now in its seventh edition, this landmark text continues to offer outstanding coverage of more than a century of thought and writing about the movies.
Author(s): Leo Braudy, Marshall Cohen

Film Theory Reader: Debates & Arguments (2010)

 Best Film Theory Books You Must Read“An excellent collection of provocative and compelling debates, expertly and elegantly arranged. Essays new and old form a dynamic and accessible portrait of ideas foundational to contemporary thinking about film. This book is sure to inspire.” Haidee Wasson, Concordia University, Montreal “Marc Furstenau retraces the most important issues in film theory, and makes them interact with the current debate on cinema and post-cinema.
Author(s): Marc Furstenau

Theory of Film (1997)

 Best Film Theory Books You Must ReadSiegfried Kracauer’s classic study, originally published in 1960, explores the distinctive qualities of the cinematic medium. The book takes its place alongside works in classical film theory by such figures as Béla Balázs, Rudolf Arnheim, and André Bazin, among others, and has met with much critical dispute.
Author(s): Siegfried Kracauer, Miriam Bratu Hansen

The Major Film Theories: An Introduction (Galaxy Books) (1976)

 Best Film Theory Books You Must ReadBoth a history of film theory and an introduction to the work of the most important writers in the field, Andrew’s volume reveals the bases of thought of such major theorists as Munsterberg, Arnheim, Eisenstein, Balazs, Kracauer, Bazin, Mitry, and Metz.
Author(s): J. Dudley Andrew

Film and Television Analysis: An Introduction to Methods, Theories, and Approaches (2015)

 Best Film Theory Books You Must ReadFilm and Television Analysis is especially designed to introduce undergraduate students to the most important qualitative methodologies used to study film and television. The methodologies covered include: With each chapter focusing on a distinct methodology, students are introduced to the historical developments of each approach, along with its vocabulary, significant scholars, key concepts and case studies.
Author(s): Harry Benshoff

Best Film Theory Books You Must Read

We highly recommend you to buy all paper or e-books in a legal way, for example, on Amazon. But sometimes it might be a need to dig deeper beyond the shiny book cover. Before making a purchase, you can visit resources like Library Genesis and download some film theory books mentioned below at your own risk. Once again, we do not host any illegal or copyrighted files, but simply give our visitors a choice and hope they will make a wise decision.

Physics of Magnetic Thin Films: Theory and Simulation

Author(s): Hung T. Diep
ID: 2912558, Publisher: , Year: 2021, Size: 11 Mb, Format: pdf

Ecological Film Theory and Psychoanalysis: Surviving the Environmental Apocalypse in Cinema

Author(s): Robert Geal
ID: 2993041, Publisher: Routledge, Year: 2021, Size: 6 Mb, Format: pdf

Actor-Network Theory At The Movies: Reassembling The Contemporary American Teen Film With Latour

Author(s): Björn Sonnenberg-Schrank
ID: 2465928, Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan, Year: 2020, Size: 5 Mb, Format: pdf

Please note that this booklist is not errorless. Some books are truly best-sellers according to Chicago Tribune, others are drafted by unknown writers. On top of that, you can always find additional tutorials and courses on Coursera, Udemy or edX, for example. Are there any other relevant books you could recommend? Leave a comment if you have any feedback on the list.

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