This book by Réka Cristian and Zoltán Dragon is groundbreaking in more than one respect. First of all, they explore a field as yet untouched in the [Monograph] series, although one that is increasingly important and growing in currency: Film Studies. Secondly, while the book shows the unmistakable characteristics of original research and offers valuable points to scholars of film theory, the authors have managed to shape their material in such an easily digestible form that the book can also serve as a university textbook. The very modestly claim that this is really a BA-level textbook, but I would suggest that the complexity of the ideas discussed also makes it useful ont he graduate level.The first of eight chapters deals with the historical and scientific origins of film. Further chapters treat the topics of film language, the psychoanalytical aspects of cinema, the major film genres, the development of authorship films. Last but not least, the authors attempt to contextualize film among the other rising new media of the twenty-first century.
György E. Szőnyi
Institute of English & American Studies, University of Szeged
Encounters of the Filmic Kind is a highly enjoyable and though-provoking new book. The authors summarize, by using most illustrative examples taken from movies, the output of the most important theoretical grids in film theories so that even the most complicated thoughts and notions are made easily graspable by readers. […] The teaching experience behind the authors is evident in the approach Cristian and Dragon adopt: they know that among the main assets of a university guidebook are the well-chose, illustrative examples. The methodology of this book is also special: instead of developing their own theoretical assumptions the authors urge their readers to think further about the topics they present. Each chapter promotes after-reading discussions on issues raised through the contextualization and multivalent approach to specific problems in film theory. […] It is the wide-ranging knowledge and the strive for thoroughness that urges Cristian and Dragon to occasionally leave the terrain of film theory and to embark on dynamic detours in the wider film world and in cultural studies in order to better prepare and contextualize their subject matter, a practice which shows that film theory is an inalienable and organic part of thinking about film in general.
Institute for Art Theory and Media Studies, Eötvös Lóránd University, Budapest
Réka Cristian and Zoltán Dragon’s book is intended for mainly American and English Studies students as a textbook but is a good companion to anyone involved in film studies. It is obvious how much the authors know about their subject and this book mirrors their sophisticated understanding of film theory. The way the text is organized is quite creative: not by genre but by analytical concepts. The level of the book suits, in my view, especially university students but I would recommend it also to scholars who would like to immerse themselves more in film studies. A really high level and very usable book.
Center for Social Research, University of Colima, Mexico