Poststructuralism and film

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter offers a critical discussion of the relationship between poststructuralism and film theory. I commence with a brief account of poststructuralism’s distinctive features (the critique of structuralist universalism, the championing of a philosophy of difference, and the shift from work to text). I then turn to the key poststructuralist thinkers such as Derrida and Deleuze, and explore why poststructuralist thinkers themselves may have eschewed reflecting on the medium. I then consider the critique of poststructuralist contribution to film theory, suggesting what elements of that critique remain pertinent. Finally, I consider Deleuze, the only poststructuralist thinker to have focused on cinema, and argue that much of his cinematic philosophy implies a critical distancing from the psycho-semiotic/poststructuralist approach to film theory.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Palgrave handbook of the philosophy of film and motion pictures
EditorsNoël Carroll, Laura T. Di Summa-Knoop, Shawn Loht
Place of PublicationCham, Switzerland
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic)9783030196011
ISBN (Print)9783030196004
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Deleuze
  • film theory
  • poststructuralism
  • structuralism

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