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Film Studies Research Guide: Critical Approaches & Problems

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

Critical Approaches and Problems: Theory, Methodology, Philosophy and Aesthetics

What's Here

There are many ways to analyse films and filmmaking, such as focusing on gender issues or using methodologies like cultural materialism, and issues in Film Studies such as how films produce meaning.  This page provides examples of how one might identify books on these subjects -- in relation to film and as general topics -- and lists some selected resources to introduce you to them.

NOTE: There may be overlap with the topics covered on the Social & Other Aspects of Filmmaking page.


Examples of Subject Headings on Critical Approaches and Problems

Approaches to Film Studies

Critical Approaches Generally


Selected Resources on Critical Approaches and Problems



Cinetext is a bilingual (primarily English and German) Internet forum for film and philosophy, located at the University of Vienna (Austria).

A companion to film theory. Ed. Toby Miller and Robert Stam. Oxford: Blackwell, 2004.


Critical dictionary of film and television theory. Ed. Roberta E. Pearson and Philip Simpson. London; New York: Routledge, 2001.

SML Reference, PN1993.45 C75 2001


Dictionnaire théorique et critique du cinéma. Jacques Aumont and Michel Marie. 2e ed. rev. et augm. Paris: Armand Colin, c2008.

SML Reference, PN1993.45 .A96 2008

Ouvrir Bazin: a Database of his articles

The most extensive bibliography of articles by the seminal French film critic Andre Bazin.

The Oxford guide to film studies. Ed. John Hill and Pamela Church Gibson. New York: Oxford University Press, 1998.

SML Reference, PN1995 O93 1998

Short essays on aspects of film (such as the text, acting, music), critical approaches (e.g., semiotics, psychoanalysis, post-structuralism, feminism), and history (American, European, world).


Director, Film Study Center