Film studies is an academic approach to cinema. It does not talk about the techniques and ways of producing a film but critically analyses the creative aspect, the storyline, and cultural, political, religious and philosophical effects of a film on the society.
It provides an analytical perspective on the work done by people in the development of different concepts related to films, its influence on film industry and overall development of society that it lead to, the artistic contributions of some film based experiments and the offerings of those experiments in the advancement of cinema as well as addition of certain genres in the field of films.
For those interested in pursuing their career in the area of film studies should have acumen for watching films from a critical perspective. Though, this field doesn’t teaches the art of film making, but it does requires one to have an insight to watch films with an open mind such that one has an eye for every detail being portrayed in film and the research and innovative camera handling done in the film. Film studies is different from film criticism and film review, though these field can be the subcomponents of film studies.
The main aim of this course is to help its students in understanding cinema, its language and how through creative work of light, sound, camera movements, foreground, background, etc, a human experience is explained. The major element of this stream is film theories and a theoretical style of studying about history of cinema. Film theory as a subject talks about the ideas behind cinema, and by allocating each art work (film) to a category, it helps in understanding the relation between a film and the societal dynamics that lead to the creation of the film, the category of its viewers, etc.
There are good number film theories that are taught in film studies like Apparatus theory, Auteur theory, Feminist film theory,Formalist film theory, Marxist film theory, Philosophy of language film analysis, etc and ideally the work done by great directors that fall in these respective segments is also shown. There are universities that are offering film studies as a subject in mass communication and mass media related courses while others are offering a full fledged specialisation course in the same.