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Film Language

A Semiotics of the Cinema

A pioneer in the field, Christian Metz applies insights of structural linguistics to the language of film.

"The semiology of film . . . can be held to date from the publication in 1964 of the famous essay by Christian Metz, ’Le cinéma: langue ou langage?’"—Geoffrey Nowell-Smith, Times Literary Supplement

"Modern film theory begins with Metz."—Constance Penley, coeditor of Camera Obscura

"Any consideration of semiology in relation to the particular field signifying practice of film passes inevitably through a reference to the work of Christian Metz. . . . The first book to be written in this field, [Film Language] is important not merely because of this primacy but also because of the issues it raises . . . issues that have become crucial to the contemporary argument."—Stephen Heath, Screen

286 pages | 5.20 x 8.00 | © 1974

Film Studies

Table of Contents

A Note on the Translation by Bertrand Augst
A Note on Terminology
I. Phenomenological Approaches to Film
1. On the Impression of Reality in the Cinema
2. Notes Toward a Phenomenology of the Narrative
II. Problems of Film Semiotics
3. The Cinema: Language or Language System?
4. Some Points in the Semiotics of the Cinema
5. Problems of Denotation in the Fiction Film
III. Syntagmatic Analysis of the Image Track
6. Outline of the Autonomous Segments in Jacques Rozier’s film Adieu Philippine
7. Syntagmatic Study of Jacques Rozier’s Film Adieu Philippine
IV. The "Modern" Cinema: Some Theoretical Problems
8. The Modern Cinema and Narrativity
9. Mirror Construction in Fellini’s 8 1/2
10. The Saying and the Said: Toward the Decline of Plausibility in the Cinema?

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