Ian Aitken

The work of Grierson, Bazin and Kracauer makes up the core of what is here referred to as the intuitionist realist tradition in film theory. Most of this work has, generally, been classified as falling into the frame of’ ‘classical’ film theory, although this is an all-embracing term, often used to consign most film theory appearing before the rise of the Saussurian paradigm within one general ‘early

in Realist film theory and cinema
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Mass and Propaganda. An Inquiry Into Fascist Propaganda (Siegfried Kracauer, 1936)
Nicholas Baer

Written in French exile, the following text by Siegfried Kracauer from December 1936 outlines a research project that the German-Jewish intellectual undertook with funding from the Institute for Social Research. The work outlined here would be a study of totalitarian propaganda in Germany and Italy through sustained comparison with communist and democratic countries, especially the Soviet Union and the United States. Appearing in English translation for the first time, this document from Kracauer‘s estate is crucial for a full understanding of his career as a sociologist, cultural critic, film theorist and philosopher, demonstrating the global scope of his engagement with cinema, mass culture and modernity.

Film Studies
The nineteenth-century Lukácsian and intuitionist realist traditions
Author: Ian Aitken

This book embraces studies of cinematic realism and nineteenth-century tradition; the realist film theories of Lukács, Grierson, Bazin and Kracauer; and the relationship of realist film theory to the general field of film theory and philosophy. It attempts a rigorous and systematic application of realist film theory to the analysis of particular films, suggesting new ways forward for a new series of studies in cinematic realism, and for a new form of film theory based on realism. The book stresses the importance of the question of realism both in film studies and in contemporary life.

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Ian Aitken

influenced by a conviction that, within a context of underscoring the latent consequence of a realist and intuitionist aesthetic, it appeared regrettable that some associated areas of European film theory and cinema (such as, for example, French cinematic impressionism and the film theory of Kracauer) had been relatively neglected within Anglo-American film studies. Of course, critical attention has been applied to these particular areas. However, it

in Realist film theory and cinema
Objects, affects, mimesis
Simon Mussell

Kracauer’s materialist film theory, as well as in Adorno’s theories of mimetic comportment and the preponderance of the object. Drawing out the affective qualities of critical theory’s relation to objects in this way not only challenges the Marxist orthodoxy that subordinates issues around objects and aesthetics; it will also serve as a rejoinder to today’s self-​appointed envoys for the object world. My aim is to demonstrate that despite the considerable hype surrounding its leading proponents, OOO/​ SR suffers from a severe political and historical deficit, rendering

in Critical theory and feeling
Don Fairservice

relates more to a dream state wherein moments are selected because of their psychological significance at an unconscious level, rather than as a conscious perception of reality during an even, unbroken flow of time. In his book, Theory of Film , German film theoretician and historian Siegfried Kracauer argued that the principal aim of cinema is ‘the redemption of physical reality’, 2 whereas traditional arts offered perspectives

in Film editing: history, theory and practice
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Steven Peacock

gain a series of interpretative perspectives. These adjustments of critical viewpoint are facilitated and encouraged by film’s own stance towards history. As de Baecque puts it, echoing Kracauer’s words from History: The Last Things Before the Last, ‘cinema hovers above history like a helicopter or a 183 Swedish crime fiction plane taking topographical photographs, yet not as high as theory, whose obsession with regular patterns and concepts blinds it to the contours of the landscape below’.223 As my Introduction states, ‘this approach aims to uncover the texts

in Swedish crime fiction
Film theory’s foundation in medievalism
Bettina Bildhauer

pedigree in philosophy, sociology and art history, among them Béla Balázs, Walter Benjamin, Siegfried Kracauer and Erwin Panofsky. They all enthusiastically elaborated on the link (or contrast) between film and the Middle Ages. 1 The central idea of early film studies – that (silent) film is a purely visual medium that opens up a new way of seeing – was based on the analogous assumption of medieval art as

in Medieval film
Steven Ungar

.1) Starting in 1922, the journalist and cultural critic Siegfried Kracauer (1889–1966) wrote essays on Weimar-era literature, photography, film, and press while serving as Berlin correspondent for the Frankfurter Zeitung.37 Kracauer left Germany in 1933 and emigrated to the United States in 1941 where Guggenheim and Rockefeller scholarships supporting research at the Museum of Modern Art facilitated completion of From Caligari to Hitler: A Psychological History of the German Film (1947). In his Theory of Film 116 French literature on screen Figure 7.1  Swann (Jeremy

in French literature on screen
Ménilmontant, Le Sang des bêtes, Colloque de chiens
Erik Bullot

a train disappearing into the smoke. Even the presence of Charles Trenet’s song could, in the liberated France of 1948, still conjure up memories of the suspicion surrounding the singer, who had possibly collaborated with the German occupier. Even so, this thesis – brought up by Jean-Louis Leutrat on the occasion of a commentary on Kracauer’s critical works (Leutrat 2001) – remains marginal or discreet, even latent. In his Theory of Film, Kracauer hypothesises that, in order to confront horror, it is best to make use of a reflection. The example Kracauer cites is

in Screening the Paris suburbs