Week 1: How aspects/ideas/theories from the text may inspire your film practice

Texts are:

Stam, Robert (2000) Film Theory: An Introduction, London: Blackwell. (pp. 37-55: Soviet Montage and Formalism

Thompson-Jones, Katherine (2009) ‘Formalism’, in Plantinga, Carl and Livingstone, Paisley (eds.) The Routledge Companion to Philosophy and Film, New York: Routledge


Film formalism focuses on the aspect of formal, the technical and every other element of films such as lighting, scoring, the sound as well as set design the use of colour, the short compositions in addition to editing. The interesting part of film formalism is its associated and unusual form of formalism. This is because formalism is fairly dominant, possess mainstream views in regards to film; thus, it represents a minority view that is overshadowed by a solid interpretive customs.

Subsequently, film formalism is stimulating because it does not uphold most of the usual formalist tenets. Hence, the aspects of film formalism deny the aesthetic importance of sharp distinctions between the form as well as the content, the existence of distinct aesthetic responses to the formal beauty, as well as the acceptable and purely immanent in addition to historical critics, which can be an advantage in inspiring film practice. Film formalism results from literary theory, which is however finely attuned to the historical and technical potentialities of the film medium. For instance, the attunement tends to explain the unusual structures of film formalism. Film formalism maintains its role in a wider formalist tradition as a platform for the structural analyses besides the appreciation of film practice as an aesthetic item.

In a nutshell, it is rather compelling to spend more time trying to figure out the meaning of films and this brings about the broader task regarding how films also work. Hence, with the current poetics film practice can instruct the learners of films about making analyses as complex structures. As such, films appear to work in accordance with their given formal structures as well as how they are put together. Therefore, the aspect of film formalism breathes new life relative to formalism theories that can redirect film practice as well as study.


Corrigan, T., 2015. Short Guide to Writing about Film. Pearson Higher Ed.

Thompson-Jones, K., 2017. Formalism. Princeton University Press.



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