Film Studies is growing field of academic study that is focused on the critical appraisal and appreciation of cinema as a form of art together with its role in shaping contemporary society and culture. Scholars in the field concerns themselves with analyzing how best to view and appraise movies in order to understand all their many meanings and impacts. The discipline sits within the larger fields of media and cultural studies.
The subject is not focused on the technical aspects of filmmaking or production. Rather it is concerned with exploring its non-technical aspects such as the narrative, aesthetics, artistic, ideological, cultural, economic, and political implications of cinema.
Academic cinema journals have introduced many important concepts in film theory over the years. For example, prominent cinema theorist and British academic Laura Mulvey (1941-stillliving) published her famous 1975 article titled Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema in Screen. That influential article adopted a Freudian psychoanalytic analysis of the portrayal of women in cinema. It is one of the earliest articles to combine cinema theory, psychoanalysis and feminism and remains widely read today.
Given the dominance of Hollywood movie commercialism in shaping popular culture, the strong influence of European and other countries on movie production and theory may surprise many people. For example, the Moscow Film School established in 1919 was the first school focused on cinema anywhere in the world.
Similarly, the first dedicated cinema theorist and critic was Andre Bazin (1918-1958), a Frenchman born in the provincial town of Angers located south west of Paris. He began writing on cinema during the World War II in 1943, when he was 25 years of age. He subsequently co-founded the influential magazine Cahiers du cinema in 1951 with two other colleagues, Lo Duca and Doniol-Valcroze.
Perhaps the most controversial of all of the views of Bazin on cinema was his support for appreciative criticism alone. He believed that only critics that liked a movie had a legitimate basis to review and assess it. Clearly this is a restrictive stance. It is also an extreme view all the more so since Bazin was himself a prominent critic.
Bazin also favored films that presented an objective reality rather than indulging in blatant fake manipulations of reality. He supported documentaries and films crafted on the lines of Italian neorealism. From a technical viewpoint, he encouraged directors to render themselves invisible in their films; he supported advocated deep focus shots and wide shots; he discouraged adding meaning through montage favoring instead continuity via mise en scene.
Not all Bazin views are supported by contemporary film studies scholars. He is nonetheless celebrated as an original thinker of his time. Francois Truffaut dedicated his The 400 Blows to Bazin who, coincidentally, died only one day after shooting for the movie started.
Tarintino had to start somewhere. Film school can open the door to a lucrative and enjoyable career. The industry requires hard work and long hours so get started at a Canadian Art Institute. If film does not interest you then try taking web design courses or photography courses.