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.

A study of Georg Lukács’ writings on film, 1913–71
Author: Ian Aitken

This book explores Georg Lukács' writings on film. The Hungarian Marxist critic Georg Lukács is primarily known as a literary theorist, but he also wrote extensively on the cinema. These writings have remained little known in the English-speaking world because the great majority of them have never actually been translated into English until now. This book contains the most important writings and the translations. This book thus makes a decisive contribution to understandings of Lukács within the field of film studies, and, in doing so, also challenges many existing preconceptions concerning his theoretical position. For example, whilst Lukács' literary theory is well known for its repudiation of naturalism, in his writings on film Lukács appears to advance a theory and practice of film that can best be described as naturalist. Lukácsian film theory and cinema is divided into two parts. In part one, Lukács' writings on film are explored, and placed within relevant historical and intellectual contexts, whilst part two consists of the essays themselves.

The Specificity of the Aesthetic/Die Eigenart des Ästhetischen
Ian Aitken

The bulk of Georg Lukács' major writings over the 1931–63 period were concerned with questions of literary criticism or political philosophy. This chapter focuses on The Specificity of the Aesthetic (1963), which marks the return of Lukáacs to the questions of abstract philosophy and high aesthetic theory, as well as his reengagement with issues relating to film.

in Lukácsian film theory and cinema
Abstract only
Ian Aitken

Realist Film Theory and Cinema is the second in a planned trilogy. In the first part of the trilogy, entitled European Film Theory and Cinema: The Intuitionist Realist and Modernist Tradition (2001), an attempt was made to explore the relationship between two major traditions within European film theory and cinema. One of these was referred to as the ‘intuitionist modernist and realist tradition

in Realist film theory and cinema
Abstract only
Ian Aitken

Film theory has yet to acquire the substantial historical canon of critical assessment, and analysis which older disciplines within the humanities are blessed with. This means that film theory is faced with two, related requirements: (1) to extend the range of theoretical perspectives and core concepts available to the discipline, and (2) to connect with ideas from other fields. The juncture of film

in Realist film theory and cinema
Cinematic realism, philosophical realism and film theory
Ian Aitken

which they adopt. Following this, the chapter will relate these realist traditions to two different theoretical contexts. First, cinematic realism will be placed within the context of philosophical realism, and an attempt will be made to establish the extent to which the realist film theories explored here can be defined in philosophical terms, and what the value of such an enterprise might be. Second, cinematic realism will be compared to a

in Realist film theory and cinema
Ian Aitken

analysis or breadth of coverage, but will aim, instead, to provide a more conditional delineation of the early aesthetic, as prelude to a more substantive analysis of Lukács’ first engagement with film theory in his ‘Thoughts Towards an Aesthetic of the Cinema/Gedanken zu einer Ästhetic des Kino’ (1911/1913) (hereafter referred to as ‘Thoughts’). That prelude must also commence by

in Lukácsian film theory and cinema
Ian Aitken

Turin, 8 March 1958 1    The ‘layers’ of the theory of film (the structure of film-related issues). One of the greatest failings of film theory has been the fact that it has mixed together issues of diverse character and validity. There is an attempt to absolutise as aesthetic truth that which has a merely technical validity, and so forth. To reach

in Lukácsian film theory and cinema
Abstract only
Ian Aitken

tradition, and possibly irreconcilable with modernism, also led many others to dismiss his thought and contribution, either in part or in whole, as irrelevant. Particularly significantly, Brecht’s critique of Lukács in the 1930s went on to influence the development of formalist-modernist film theory after 1968, so that Lukács’ ideas came to be largely discarded by English

in Lukácsian film theory and cinema
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