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Signs and Meaning in the Cinema, New and Enlarged Edition
by Peter Wollen
"This new and enlarged edition of Peter Wollen's influential and higly regarded work explores the way in which new approaches to the cinema can be combined with a new approach to aesthetics. Divided into three sections, Part One deals with the work of S.M. Eisenstein, both as a director and theorist of his art. Part two concerns the auteur theory and investigates the recur ...more
Paperback, 176 pages
Published January 1st 1973 by Indiana University Press
(first published January 1969)
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Jun 20, 2013 Nate D rated it liked it · review of another edition
Three essays, probably composed separately, with the collective aim of expanding film discourse, and pointing out the huge space that still deserves discourse within it, even now, 40 years later. Really this comes through most urgently in the third section, about how exactly (and of what kind) the filmed image conveys meaning. The second is mainly interesting in reminding me that a time exists before Auteur Theory ie the now seemingly natural assumption that the director is the prime creative fo ...more
Books, like films, always teach you how to read them, and this is exemplified in the form this one takes: four short essays, back to back, increasing fairly drastically in difficulty and abstraction as you go along. There's a lot to learn here--and I'm not sure I got all I needed to on my first read-through. I'll be excited to delve back in at some point, though, particularly the closing essay on Wollen's evolved sense of Godard and film semiology.
Paraphrasing the opening lines of the introduction, the general purpose of the book "Signs and meaning in the cinema" is to suggest the many ways in which cinema aesthetics can be approached. The author, Peter Wollen, starts by studying Eisenstein aesthetics and it's influences. Then he takes us to the french cinema and the auteur theory, stressing the importance of studying the work of individual directors. And finally, an easy-to-follow debate on semiotics and cinema. Signs and meaning in the ...more