Aesthetics and the Cinematic Narrative

Aesthetics and the Cinematic Narrative

An Introduction

By Michael Peter Bolus

‘Aesthetics and the Cinematic Narrative’ examines the manner in which disparate Aesthetic traditions inform the conception, creation and reception of cinematic narrative while placing film, as an art form, in a wider historical and aesthetic context.

Hardback, 174 Pages


August 2019

£115.00, $150.00

  • About This Book
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  • Author Information
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  • Table of Contents
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About This Book

Since the inception of cinema in the late nineteenth century, filmmakers have employed a wide array of precursory aesthetic strategies in the conception and creation of their disparate works. The existence of these traditional antecedents have afforded filmmakers a diverse range of technical and artistic applications towards the construction of their cinematic narratives. Furthermore, the socio-political and cultural contexts in which films are conceived often inform the manner in which particular aesthetic sensibilities are selected and deployed. Unfortunately, many creative artists – and audiences – remain unfamiliar with Aesthetics as a practical discipline and how it might apply to their own creative and/or interpretive pursuits.

‘Aesthetics and the Cinematic Narrative’ provides a concise historical survey of Aesthetics as a philosophical discipline and applies several of its underlying principles to the examination of filmic storytelling. The book’s four chapters codify working definitions of the relevant terms and concepts, employing specific case studies to illustrate how certain aesthetic stratagems govern a film’s structural design and execution. By drawing connections between the technical/creative decisions filmmakers must make and more time-honoured traditions regarding the nature of art, the structures of storytelling and the import of visual imagery, ‘Aesthetics and the Cinematic Narrative’ helps recontextualize film within a wider sphere of artistic/intellectual endeavour. The book is a useful and much-needed addition to the pre-existing canon for students of visual storytelling and for general readers.


“By linking the history of aesthetics from the classical period through the Romantics and into our own day, Michael Peter Bolus helps us understand contemporary cinema in its Gestalt context. Whether analyzing Run Lola Run or the films of Akira Kurosawa, Bolus provides a stimulating discussion on the nature of aesthetics and interpretation. His book is a fascinating study of the very essence of cinema and proves that beauty can still redeem us from being human, all too human.”
—Salvador Carrasco, DGA Director (The Other Conquest) and Head of Santa Monica College Film Production Program

Author Information

Michael Peter Bolus is adjunct professor of film studies at Santa Monica College and Department Chair of the Liberal Arts Program at the Los Angeles Film School, USA.


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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements; Introduction: Art and Aesthetics; 1. Myth and Parable; 2. Realism and Abstraction; 3. Classicism and Romanticism; 4. Escapism and Formalism; Bibliography; Index.


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