Film studies is an academic discipline that deals with various theoretical, historical, and critical approaches to films. It is sometimes subsumed within media studies and is often compared to television studies. Film studies is less concerned with advancing proficiency in film production than it is with exploring the narrative, artistic, cultural, economic, and political implications of the cinema. In searching for these social-ideological values, film studies takes a series of critical approaches for the analysis of production, theoretical framework, context, and creation.

The discipline of film studies includes a range of activities, such as film history, film interpretation, and film theory. For many scholars, the study of film is a valuable form of cultural history. Even the most generic films can reveal significant traits about the societies that produce and consume them. Some films go farther, expressing difficult themes through complex forms, in the manner of great works of art and literature. By situating films within an appropriate historical context, we can increase our understanding of the films and the cultures that produced them.

This process of understanding films historically often involves the process of interpretation. Many film studies place a special emphasis on developing interpretive skills. Other film studies examine questions in film theory, a mode of inquiry that seeks to understand the general traits of film. A film theorist might ask how film differs from painting, or propose a different way of understanding the experience of spectatorship. How the theorist answers those broad questions might shape the way other scholars come to understand individual works.

  • Modes of film studies
  • Close analysis of film
  • History of film/media
  • Analysis with emphasis
    • to time period
    • to regional creation
    • to genre
    • to creators
  • Methods of film production
  • Cinema Historiography
  • Cinema Criticism