Structuralist film theory

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Structuralist film theory is a branch of film theory that is rooted in Structuralism, itself based on structural linguistics. Structuralist film theory emphasizes how films convey meaning through the use of codes and conventions not dissimilar to the way languages are used to construct meaning in communication.

An example of this is understanding how the simple combination of shots can create an additional idea: the blank expression on a person's face, an appetising meal, and then back to the person's face. While nothing in this sequence literally expresses hunger—or desire—the juxtaposition of the images convey that meaning to the audience.

Unraveling this additional meaning can become quite complex. Lighting, angle, shot duration, juxtaposition, cultural context, and a wide array of other elements can actively reinforce or undermine a sequence's meaning.

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