Many people ask me all the time “what is Cinema Studies?” My response is as simple as the name says, the study of cinema (or “film” as most people like to refer to). Some people still remain skeptic. I tell them then, “think of it as an English degree, but the emphasis is on films as opposed to works of literature.” This is when their eyes light up, and it makes sense. I write about films. It’s more than that. Studying film history is also a study of culture. Also learning terminology, theories, and watching periods of films while contextualizing the text with said theories. It’s been quite the learning experience. I’ve never thought of or viewed films in the way I do now.
When I write papers on films I’m making arguments based on theory(ies) and what’s in the film. For example I once argued that a couple films addressed what it means to be human. This is a topic that has come up in several times within my papers. On my blog the doppelganger has appeared as one of my main interests. I note these because when writing out favorite topics and themes emerge. This really helps me too understand who I am as a writer. Its certainly worth the effort of discovery. Sometimes we have to listen to ourselves and actively access our skills.
Another familiar topic of mine is the theory of psychoanalysis. I’ve read information based on Freud, Lacan, and Jung. All three are great, and can be taken separately. Psychoanalysis theory also informs feminist film theory, gender studies, and queer theory. I’m learning more and more to appreciate the narrative, and the narrative structure, which is also part of film form. Film form is how we address the films we watch and discuss. I hope to look at other theories more and more to used them better. For example, I like elements of Structuralism, post-modernism, should read more on deconstructionism, and reception theory. I need to know more on multiculturalism as well.