Interpreting the paradigms of interpretation and analysis

These remarks should suffice to explain why in the preceding chapters we have both implicitly and explicitly assumed that contemporary American (Hollywood) movies are important to study, and why they are paradigmatic for the challenges facing film analysis in general.

More practically, we have been reviewing but also showing in action some of the particular, historically specific paradigms that have been applied to films, such as mise-eti-scene criticism, thematic readings, and auteurist analysis. We called them paradigms in order to indicate their conceptual status, somewhere between a theory and a method of analysis, but nevertheless sufficiently established for us both to extrapolate from the practice the elements of a theory and, on the other hand, to specify some of the rules of this practice in terms of a method. Therefore, we might say that while in each of our chapters the outline of the theory is followed by the statement of a method, both are in fact indissolubly linked to a practice which in our model follows on from theory and method but which in another, historical as well as procedural sense has often preceded both. What, then, can we conclude from our exercise about the validity and claims of these different paradigms?

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