winifred fordham pathfinder
Introduction Scope LC Subject Headings Dictionaries & Encyclopedias
Guides, Handbooks & Bibliographies Film Reviews, Critics & Annual Review Guides Journals Indexes & Databases


admit one       In the introduction to The Oxford Guide to Film Studies, John Hill stated that " the excitement of film studies is that, despite a growing institutionalization, it remains a field in which a variety of approaches coalesce and compete and in which basic questions remain unsettled." Film criticism and theory are scholarly endeavors and comprise an academic genre housed in many English Department's curricula today. Contemporary film studies address several broad topics. Some of them include: a retrospective or current consideration of film directors, actors or studios, historical research, technical aspects, genre studies, and esthetic or theoretical issues. In 1898 Cecil M. Hepworth wrote the first handbook on cinema, only four years after the first moving images were projected onto a screen. Not twenty years later, Hugo Munsterberg, considered one of the first film theoreticians, wrote a psychological and esthetic study of film, The Film: A Psychological Study (1916). Since then, countless scholarly and popular books and journals have been written, devoted to the critical study of film.


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     This pathfinder aims to provide both the undergraduate and graduate student enrolled in a film studies class at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a starting point for their research of film; notably but not limited to film theory and criticism. It is designed to guide students to significant sources; concentrating on a variety of reference works, journals and electronic resources. By no means all-inclusive, this pathfinder will assuredly direct the user to a melange of other helpful resources in addition to the essential ones cited below. While intended for students, this pathfinder could also prove an enjoyable and useful resource for anyone interested in deepening their appreciation and understanding of film. Note: discretion is advised when using linked websites due to questions of authorship.

LC Subject Headings

  • Film
Highly Relevant
  • Film criticism
         Search also under:Motion pictures -- Plots, themes, etc.
         Search also under: Motion pictures -- Evaluation.
  • Film genres
         Search also under: Motion pictures -- Plots, themes, etc.
  • Film noir
  • Motion picture producers and directors
  • Motion pictures films
  • Films, Cinematographic
  • Motion Picture Association of America
  • Motion picture audiences
         Search also under: Motion pictures -- Plots, themes, etc.

Browsing Areas

All sources listed in this pathfinder can be found in the following libraries on the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill campus: 1. Davis Graduate Library (Davis); 2. Undergraduate Library (UL)

PN1993.A5 - PN1999.R3 (General browsing for all things film...) For works by a specific author, look under the author's name. For works regarding a specific director or actor, do a title or keyword search using the person's name. A title search for "Film Theory" or "Film Criticism" would also prove helpful, yielding more than 20 books dealing with these specific themes.

A large selection of contemporary and classic films are available for viewing (or check-out) in the non-print section of the Undergraduate Library. A visit to the Library of Congress, National Film Preservation Board website could also prove helpful for viewing some selected film clips.