A Theoretical Defence of Film Theory and Criticism

  • Blair Miller


THE WORK OF INTERPRETATION: A THEORETICAL DEFENCE OF FILM THEORY AND CRITICISM READING on both critical theory and aesthetics has taught me is that anything -- namely art, and for my own personal purposes, movies -- can help us improve our moral wherewithal and self-understanding. Surely this is not what half of the artists intended their art to be used for, but nonetheless, critics and theorists do it all of the time, and with productive results. Yet, although those who believe in the didactic force of movies do so wholeheartedly, film theorists of the humanist sort are part of an overwhelming minority. This is especially true when weighed against the number of general moviegoers who see films as a means to get away from moral arguments, not to get into them. In other words, moviegoers often go above and beyond the duty of ignoring interpretive theories of movies; they...