Jeremy Butler writes:

>There's a particularly snide rehashing of the film theory's perceived
>irrelevance to film production in the LA Times...

While there are one or two cheap shots and the author fails to distinguish
between higher education courses which are intended to train practitioners
and those which are more general academic qualifications (if Alexis wants
to be a professional film-maker I'd say she should never have enrolled on
the course she's doing, because what it's teaching isn't going to help her
in that specific objective), on the I'd call it a eloquant illustration of
the obsolescence of politically movitated film 'theory', full stop.

Barry Salt had it just right in his opening chapters to 'Film Style and
Technology: History and Analysis' (one of the most valuable, if not the
most valuable work of film-related scholarship ever produced, IMHO) in
pointing out that a lot of the conclusions that these methodologies produce
are fundamentally undermined by empirical historical research based on hard
evidence.  OK, history and historiography may be harder work - you actually
have to go and find things out, rather than sit in an office armchair
dreaming up polysyllabic jargon.  But personally I find that our
understanding of cinema is informed more effectively by analysis of hard
information regarding a film's production and reception than speculation as
to what Freud thinks happened to the director's mother or a pathological
urge to bring down the bourgeois elite.


Dr. Leo Enticknap
Curator, Northern Region Film and Television Archive
School of Arts and Media
University of Teesside
Middlesbrough  TS1 3BA
United Kingdom
Tel. +44-(0)1642 384022
Fax. +44-(0)1642 384099
Mobile: +44-(0)7739 412022

Online resources for film/TV studies may be found at ScreenSite