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Film Studies Research Guide: Articles

A guide to conducting research in Film Studies at Yale University, including key resources and crucial search strategies.

How to Find Scholarly Articles on Film

What's Here


This page lists databases and printed books where you can identify scholarly analyses of particular films, directors, actors, etc.  There is a separate page on locating Film Reviews. Keep in mind that you will probably need to look at print indexes to find articles published before the mid 1970s (see below).

 


Key Databases for Articles in Film Studies

Clark Gable (right) and Carole Lombard in No Man of Her Own.
From the Crawford Collection, Yale University Library Manuscripts and Archives.

 

FIAF International Index to Film/TV

Indexes over 330 international periodicals. The database also includes a number of specialized bibliographies (such as silents and Latin American cinema) and information about film archives and collections.  In addition to the usual types of searches, one can search for articles on a particular director or film title.

Film & Television Literature Index

FTLI takes over where the Film Literature Index ends. See below for further information.  By going into Advanced Search, one can search search for articles on a particular director (choose PEOPLE the field) or film title (choose the REVIEWS & PRODUCTS field). 

Film Literature Index 1976-2001
SML Reference, Z5784 M9 F55

FLI indexes over 300 international film periodicals. The print edition covers film criticism from 1974 to 2004; the online database only covers 1976-2001, and it has been succeeded by FLTI (above). FLI also covers articles on television and video (section two of the print version).  In addition to the usual types of searches, one can search search for articles on a particular person or film title.

Oxford Bibliographies Online - Cinema and Media Studies

      About a hundred bibliographies and commentaries. Pre-filtered by experts and carefully monitored. A        high-quality resource.


 

Additional Film Journal Databases and Indexes


Magazine and journal articles can be found by searching in periodical databases and print indexes, which can be located in Orbis by using the following Library of Congress Subject Heading:

 

motion pictures--periodicals--indexes

 

Here are more resources for finding scholarly articles. Some are either less or more specialized than the ones listed above. Others simply have a different primary purpose and appear among the key resources on other subject guide pages here. Some cover articles published before the mid 1970s.

 

American Film Institute Catalog

Online catalog of every American film from 1893 to 1972. Searchable by keywords; film titles; cast, crew, and character names; subject; genre and more. Most records include extensive plot summaries and comprehensive filmographic information, plus citations to reviews and articles. See also Film Indexes Online below.

Cahiers du Cinéma online index

For technical reasons the Library is unable to provide access to the online archive of this important French film journal, but one can search its index for free, and then find the volume in Yale's print collection.

The Critical Index: A Bibliography of Articles on Film in English, 1946-1973, Arranged by Names and Topics. John C. Gerlach. New York: Teacher's College Press, 1974.

SML and Bass Reference, Z5784 M9 G47 (LC)

Film Index International

Film Index International covers all genres of film, from the first silent movies and art-house classics to recent sci-fi blockbusters. Content is very current and is updated twice yearly. FII provides background on around 122,000 films from over 170 countries, including information on international film awards, searchable plot summaries, full cast and crew lists, and citations to reviews and articles. See also Film Indexes Online below.

Film Indexes Online

Film Indexes Online is a portal that allows one to simultaneously search both the American Film Institute Catalog and Film Index International. For descriptions of these databases, please see their entries on this page.

International Index to the Performing Arts

IIPA draws its current content from more than 200 international periodicals and also indexes articles and obituaries appearing in the New York Times and the Washington Post. IIPA covers nearly all aspects of the world of performing arts, including film, theater, and opera.

Media History Digital Library

They are a non-profit initiative dedicated to digitizing collections of classic media periodicals that belong in the public domain for full public access. The project is supported by owners of materials who loan them for scanning, and donors who contribute funds to cover the cost of scanning. They have currently scanned over 800,000 pages, and that number is growing.

Their Collections feature Extensive Runs of several important trade papers and fan magazines. Click on the arrows below to learn more about these periodicals and select volumes to download and read. You’ll find more material and options at their Collections page.

 

The New Film Index: A Bibliography of Magazine Articles in English, 1930-1970. Richard D. MacCann. New York: Dutton, 1975.

SML, Reference Z5784 M9 M29 (LC)

 

Retrospective Index to Film Periodicals, 1930-1971. Linda Batty. New York: Bowker, 1975.
SML Reference, Z5784 M9 B39 (LC)

Historical index of film scholarship that predates the Film Literature Index, above. Indexes 14 English-language film periodicals, as well as articles from the Village Voice.

 


 

Other Useful Databases

 

Academic Search Premier

Use Academic Search Premier to search for articles in thousands of different scholarly journals and general interest magazines. Coverage extends back to the mid-1980s.

Art Source [Contains Art Full Text and Art Index Retrospective (1929-1984)]

Type [name of film] Motion Picture to find articles about particular films. For example, you can do a keyword search for Fargo Motion Picture or Midnight Garden Good Evil Motion Picture.

Arts & Humanities Citation Index (via Web of Science)

The database covers 1980 to the present, and the print volumes go back to 1975. In addition to being a standard journal index, A&HCI has a "cited work" index, allowing you to discover publications that cite another work (e.g., articles citing David Bordwell's Film Art).

Essay and General Literature Index

Type [name of film] Motion Picture to find articles about particular films. For example, you can do a keyword search for Fargo Motion Picture or Midnight Garden Good Evil Motion Picture.

Humanities Full Text and Humanities & Social Sciences Index Retrospective (1907-1984)

Type [name of film] Motion Picture to find articles about particular films. For example, you can do a keyword search for Fargo Motion Picture or Midnight Garden Good Evil Motion Picture.

MLA Bibliography

The MLA Bibliography indexes critical materials on literature, languages, linguistics, and folklore. The database provides access to citations from over 4,000 journals and series published worldwide, as well as books, essay collections, working papers, proceedings, dissertations, and bibliographies. The database covers the entire print version from 1926 to the present.

Reader's Guide Full Text Mega and Reader's Guide Retrospective (1890-1982)

Type [name of film] Motion Picture to find articles about particular films. For example, you can do a keyword search for Fargo Motion Picture or Midnight Garden Good Evil Motion Picture.

 

Librarian for Literature in English, Comparative Literature, and Linguistics

Todd Gilman
Contact:
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New Haven, CT 06520-8240

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