Why is a knowledge of film history invaluable in analyzing them?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I think that a knowledge of film history is essential to film analysis because it provides the frame of reference that enables an individual to properly assess a film work.  It is important to understand the concept of "intercinema" context that exists between films.  Like many artists, filmmakers are inspired by the films they have seen and the directors of those films.  In order to possess a better understanding of a given film or a given work, being able to understand the artistic scope of a film proves essential.  It is here where knowledge of film history is important.  Directors often include a homage to previous directors and in order to fully appreciate these gestures of the cinema aesthetic, it will necessitate a good understanding of film history.  For those who are immersed in cinema criticism, it is essential to understand the nature and backdrop of film knowledge.  Those who wish to understand the medium have to engage in its history to see how the genre has changed.  They also must have a better understanding of the past film history so that they can recognize the current trajectory of the medium.

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