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)
- Film Studies: An Introduction (Film and Culture Series) (2009)
- Film Theory and Criticism: Introductory Readings (2016)
- Film Theory (2015)
- Critical Visions in Film Theory (2010)
- Literature into Film: Theory And Practical Approaches (2006)
- Film Theory: The Basics (2016)
- Film Theory: An Introduction (2000)
- Film Theory and Criticism (2009)
- Film Theory Reader: Debates & Arguments (2010)
- Theory of Film (1997)
- The Major Film Theories: An Introduction (Galaxy Books) (1976)
- Film and Television Analysis: An Introduction to Methods, Theories, and Approaches (2015)
Understanding Film Theory (2017)
This 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.
Film Studies: An Introduction (Film and Culture Series) (2009)
Ed 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.
Film Theory and Criticism: Introductory Readings (2016)
Since 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.
Film Theory (2015)
What 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.
Critical Visions in Film Theory (2010)
Embracing 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.
Literature into Film: Theory And Practical Approaches (2006)
For 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.
Film Theory: The Basics (2016)
Film 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.
Film Theory: An Introduction (2000)
Providing 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.
Film Theory and Criticism (2009)
Since 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.
Film Theory Reader: Debates & Arguments (2010)
“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.
Theory of Film (1997)
Siegfried 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.
The Major Film Theories: An Introduction (Galaxy Books) (1976)
Both 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.
Film and Television Analysis: An Introduction to Methods, Theories, and Approaches (2015)
Film 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.
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.
Philosophy of Film Without Theory
Author(s): Craig Fox, Britt Harrison
ID: 3707838, Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan, Year: 2023, Size: 6 Mb, Format: pdf
Film Theory: The Basics
Author(s): Kevin McDonald
ID: 3239204, Publisher: Routledge, Year: 2022, Size: 2 Mb, Format: pdf
The Oxford Handbook of Film Theory
Author(s): Kyle Stevens (ed.)
ID: 3462584, Publisher: Oxford University Press, Year: 2022, Size: 2 Mb, Format: epub
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.