What is the relationship between cinema and spectator? That is the central question for film theory, and renowned film scholars Thomas Elsaesser and Malte Hagener use this question to guide students through all of the major film theories -- from the classical period to today -- in this insightful, engaging book. Every kind of cinema (and film theory) imagines an ideal spectator, and then imagines a certain relationship between the mind and body of that spectator and the screen. Using seven distinctive configurations of spectator and screen that move progressively from 'exterior' to 'interior' relationships, the authors retrace the most important stages of film theory from 1945 to the present, from neo-realist and modernist theories to psychoanalytic, 'apparatus', phenomenological and cognitivist theories.
Thomas Elsaesser is Professor of Film and Television Studies in the Department of Art and Culture at the University of Amsterdam. A renowned film scholar, he is the author and editor of many books, including Weimar Cinema and After, also published by Routledge. Malte Hagener is Associate Professor of media studies at the Leuphana Universitat Luneburg. He has written Moving Forward, Looking Back: The European Avant-garde and the Invention of Film Culture, 1919-1939 and edited many volumes, including Cinephilia: Movies, Love, and Memory.