In Critique of Cinema

In Critique of Cinema

Publishing House: Josor Al-Thaqafah

Publication Year: 2023

Genre: Criticism

Number of Pages: 126

In his book “In Critique of Cinema: Intersections of Cinema, Literature, and Philosophy,” Dr. Adel Khamis Al-Zahrani, a modern criticism professor at King Abdulaziz University, provides an insightful exploration into the world of cinema. Al-Zahrani emphasizes the cinema’s role in engaging audiences on both a physiological and psychological level, thus making it a powerful tool for global cultural exchange.

The book enriches the Arabic literary scene, particularly in the realms of cinema and criticism. Al-Zahrani, a critic and cinema enthusiast, explores the history of film studies, recognizing their evolution over more than 120 years. The author emphasizes cinema’s capacity to captivate diverse audiences, uplift human values, and fulfill its enlightening role through entertainment.

Published as part of the Saudi Film Festival’s ninth edition knowledge series, the book aims to elevate the standards of the cinematic industry. It seeks to move away from non-professional, unscientific writing in Arab cinema and establish a professional, specialized approach. Al-Zahrani shares his experience of proposing a postgraduate program in “Film Criticism” that was unexpectedly rejected, reflecting the underestimation of cinema’s academic value.

“Exploring Cinema’s Evolution and Philosophical Dimensions”

The book offers a historical overview of cinema, including the evolution of the term “Movies.” It discusses how cinema has transcended geographical, racial, and minor identity barriers. Al-Zahrani notes the beginnings of cinema with animation films, which laid the groundwork for modern cinema.

Spanning 126 pages, the book explores the intersections between cinema, philosophy, and literature. Al-Zahrani proposes a narrative analysis methodology based on narratology, emphasizing the story and its narration within films. He discusses cinema’s shared attributes with literature in storytelling, critiquing, and questioning reality.

Al-Zahrani describes cinema as an ‘experienced sage’ that opens up diverse, often counter-mainstream content filled with wisdom. He argues that cinema offers a blend of stories, experiences, perspectives, and philosophical hypotheses, emotionally and intellectually engaging audiences.

The book also covers the differences between film criticism and reviews, emphasizing the need for in-depth analysis over brief impressions. Al-Zahrani advises critics to analyze different aspects of a film, including plot, narrative style, ideology, and underlying message. He underscores the significance of intellectual currents in guiding a film’s direction.

“In Critique of Cinema” is a roadmap for those venturing into film criticism, providing a methodology for writing critiques and exploring the gap between literature and cinema. Al-Zahrani’s other publications include “The Desire for Renewal in Arabic Poetry: A Historical Study,” “Dialectics of Existence and Nonexistence,” and two poetry collections.

Read More About Adel Khamis Al-Zahrani

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