Survey of significant trends within both classical and contemporary film theory. Designed for serious students interested in reading, analyzing, and evaluating the central concepts and intellectual history of writings about film, particularly with respect to film as a medium presenting an array of aesthetic, psychological, and social potentialities. Whereas classical film theory attempts to treat cinema as a unique art form, contemporary film theory addresses issues related to cinema as a mode of communication, a source of visual pleasure, and as an ideological tool. Much contemporary theory attempts to incorporate the insights of other critical and analytical paradigms, such as semiotics, psychoanalysis, feminism, queer theory, critical race theory, postmodernism, and cognitive science. Questions regarding the ontology of cinema, its relation to existing theories of art, its effects on spectators, and the various ways in which its formal properties create meaning are considered.