Multimodal Film Analysis: How Films Mean by John Bateman, Karl-Heinrich Schmidt

By John Bateman, Karl-Heinrich Schmidt

This booklet provides a brand new foundation for the empirical research of movie. ranging from a longtime physique of labor in movie concept, the authors exhibit how a detailed incorporation of the present state-of-the-art in multimodal theory—including debts of the syntagmatic and paradigmatic axes of supplier, discourse semantics and complicated ‘layout structure’—builds a technique through which concrete info of movie sequences force mechanisms for developing filmic discourse constructions. The ebook introduces the mandatory heritage, the open questions raised, and the strategy wherein research can continue step by step. wide examples are given from a large diversity of movies.

With this new analytic software set, the reader will technique the examine of movie supplier with new degrees of aspect and probe extra deeply into the elemental query of the self-discipline: simply how is it that motion pictures reliably speak meaning?

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Discourse has its own units, its rules, its ‘grammar’: beyond the sentence, and though consisting entirely of sentences, it must naturally form the object of a second linguistics. . ” (Barthes, 1977a: 83, emphasis added) At the time Barthes wrote this there was very little idea how such a ‘second linguistics’, that of discourse, could work. Thus, although even early on we Multimodal Film Analysis: How films mean 33 can find work on film that emphasises film’s discoursal nature, accounts of that nature were restricted—discussions either fell back on notions of grammar or looked outside of linguistics altogether, probably the most common model drawn upon being that of an increasingly extended notion of narrative (cf.

Several research programmes arose in film theory in response to these concerns; for present purposes we can usefully pick out three that are of particular relevance—the Further Reading section at the end of this chapter points to some others. First, one broad programme was developed within film studies that sought to combine ideological critiques of society from a primarily Marxist perspective, psychoanalytic treatments of dream, fantasy, etc. drawing primarily on Jacques Lacan and his extensions beyond Freud, and semiotic theories of signification (cf.

This also informs the general area of cognitive film theory (cf. Bordwell, 2009). The methods traditionally associated with these three programmes differ considerably, which is one of our main motivations for dividing them in the way we have. The first and second programmes are, however, more similar in that both are ‘discursive’ in their style of argumentation: particular sets of terms and relationships are applied to talk about film and films and the success or otherwise of the argument is generally assessed by how well the argument ‘convinces’, picking examples from analysed texts as required ¨ to illustrate the argument’s plausibility (cf.

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