As I mentioned in my Versatile Blogger Award blog post, I will be moving to Savannah, GA soon to start my master’s degree in Cinema Studies at Savannah College of Art and Design. In order to get myself ready, I thought I’d read up on some basic film theory and criticism. I found Teach Yourself Film Studies (not an affiliate link) in the extremely small film and entertainment section of the library. An excellent find indeed, as this is an excellent refresher course.
Whether you are looking to brush up on your montage techniques or take a dive into Feminist film theory, this book is a great read. Written by Warren Buckland, this book can help you develop the skills and language necessary to help your critical thinking when discussing a film. Taking you through a near chronological order of how certain theories and movements evolved, nearly anyone can get a keener sense of film criticism after reading this book.
Buckland uses many examples of either directors or specific films within a genre or style to help the reader grasp what are truly difficult to understand film theories. Many uninformed about the individual theories in film and cinema do not truly understand the difficult nature of this form of study. Even the writings of Sergei Eisenstein are at a very high-reading level, even for a college student. Buckland does a fantastic job of providing examples to readers to fully understand the concepts.
This book excels and acknowledging that there can be many plausible interpretations of a film. Buckland allows the reader to create their own toolbox filled with the elements and language of cinema. Even at minimal retention of the information in this book, one could increase their understanding of the difficulties of critical cinema analysis and appreciate the art form, the directors, screenwriters, and possibly the film critics.