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May 1993


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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Paul Younghouse <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 10 May 1993 09:21:54 EST
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
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In reply to Rick Francis's question concerning Chomsky and film:
Not assuming anything about your background in recent film studies,
this general approach to film would fall into "cognitive film
theory," an area I have considerable interest in.
Of course, David Bordwell is the big kahuna of CFT, but his approach
strikes me as less like Chomsky's generative syntax and more like
Lakoff's generative semantics.  See Bordwell, _Making Meaning_
(Harvard U., 1989).  I think Jack Carroll's work is closer to
Chomsky, see John M. Carroll _Toward a Structural Psychology of
Cinema_ (Mouton, 1980).  For analysis of film in a way that is
inspired, I guess, by Chomskyian concerns, though not heavily
theorized, see Stefan Sharff _The Elements of Cinema_ (Columbia U.,
There are, of course, other items out there, but I haven't
time to put together a bibliography.  Noel Carroll is something of a
cognitivist, but of the analytic philosophy school, mostly.  Edward
Branigan also ranks in there, I haven't yet read his latest.
Jack Anderson is trying to put a book out; his work is oriented
toward perception, following J.J. Gibson on "direct perception."
Of course this stuff has not been shaped by concerns of
Althusser- Lacan, Metz, or Foucault-oriented film studies.
Consequently, we are somewhat marginalized in contemporary
discussions of film.
This may be more than you wanted, but I can offer more with a little
more preparation.  Ask [log in to unmask], but please be
Facing end-of-semester-meltdown,
Paul Younghouse
Indiana State University
Paul Younghouse               ||
Dept. of Communication        ||  "All cruelty springs from weakness."
Indiana State University      ||                -- Seneca
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