Film Theory: An Introduction to the Senses (2nd ed.)

This new and updated edition of Film Theory: An Introduction through the Senses (2015) has been extensively revised and rewritten throughout. It incorporates discussion of contemporary films like Her and Gravity, and includes a greatly expanded final chapter, which brings film theory fully into the digital age. A Companion website provides extracts from the Introduction, sample text from each chapter, video essays, and a list of further visual resources



German Cinema - Terror and Trauma: Cultural Memory since 1945

Thomas Elsaesser, German Cinema - Terror And Trauma: Cultural Memory Since 1945 (Routledge, 2013) 352 pp.

book coverIn German Cinema – Terror and Trauma: Cultural Memory Since 1945 Thomas Elsaesser re-evaluates the meaning of the Holocaust for postwar German films and culture, while offering a reconsideration of trauma theory today. Elsaesser argues that Germany's attempts at "mastering the past" can be seen as both a failure and an achievement, making it appropriate to speak of an ongoing 'guilt management' that includes not only Germany, but Europe as a whole.

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Recently Published

Additional Online Resources

Thomas Elsaesser's Vimeo Page (with video essays) and Wordpress blog (articles and essays)

A Companion Page to Film Theory - An Introduction (2nd edition, 2015)

A career interview, part of the SCMS Field Notes project, here (transcript) and here (audio)

Turnkey or Turnoff: Rebranding the Arts in A Popular Medium (video lecture), Grafics, Montreal, 2015

Manuals for Life: Harun Farocki on Work and Play (video lecture), Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin 2015

Harun Farocki: Alex Alberro interviews Thomas Elsaesser (video), New York Artists Space, 2014

Cinema After Film (video lecture), Centre For the Study of Developing Societies, New Delhi, 2014

Film and Philosophy After Deleuze (video lecture), IKKM Weimar, 2012

The Cinema in the 21st century: Art form or Life form? (video), Kracauer Lecture, Frankfurt, 2012

Terrence Malick's The Tree of Life (video discussion), IKKM Weimar, 2012

Walter Benjamin, Global Cities and Living with Asymmetries (video lecture) Athens, Greece, 2011


Recently Published

Christian Petzold's Barbara - A Thought Experiment on a Vanished Country

Harun Farocki 1944-2014

Farocki: A Frame No Longer Visible

Lovers in Time (a new film by Agnieszka Piotrowska)

Siegfried Kracauer's Affinities

Philip K. Dick, the Mind-Game Film and Retroactive Causality (brief summary here)

Touch and Gesture - On the Borders of Intimacy (brief summary here)

Digital Cinema - Convergence or Contradiction (full text here)

Migration and Motif - The Parapractic Memory of an Image (brief summary here)

The "Return" of 3-D and Response to Miriam Ross (full text here)

European Cinema, Post-heroic Narrative: Claire Denis (full text here)


Avatar: Access for All

The Mind-Game Film (full text here and here)

Bergman's Persona (Criterion Collection)


About Thomas Elsaesser

Born in Berlin in 1943, I was educated at Heidelberg University and the University of Sussex (U.K.), where I received a B.A. in English Literature in 1966, and a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature in 1971. After working as a film critic in Brighton, then London and editing the international film journal Monogram, I taught European Romanticism and Literary Modernism in Comparative Literature at the University of East Anglia from 1972 onwards. In 1976 I initiated Film Studies at the University of East Anglia, chaired Film Studies until 1986, and was in charge of the Master's and Ph.D. programme in Cinema from 1980 to 1991.

Read more: About Thomas Elsaesser

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