David Weddle’s article on film theory is a reflection in the shifting of time. Although Weddle may have attained a degree equal in value to that his daughter he finds it discerning that the film studies department at UC Santa Barbara is chock full of jargon and theory. He recalls a time without the psychoanalytic, Marxist, semiotic and various other theories. The involvement of these theoretical works on film represents a crucial convergence between culture and academia. Weddle’s beliefs center on the importance of demonstrable skills that he expects his daughter to learn by attending film school. Unfortunately his misunderstanding stems from an uniformed approach to filmmaking.

Weddle’s daughter is presented with a variety of theories, sometimes competing, in order to establish the informed participation of analysis and production. While having a theoretical background doesn’t necessarily translate to being a successful filmmaker the understanding of film theory is fundamental to a conscious understanding of culture and society. Many of the film theories emerge from a new cultural perspective such as feminist theory. While women themselves are not new, their access to education, commodity and culture fuels a new perspective in the universal application of theory. Furthermore psychological developments help to inform the self awareness and actualization of theory. Weddle’s perspective on his “investment” is naïve. Although a practical skill may not be present in his daughter after completing UCSB, she is equipped with the knowledge of a greater understanding of film which will create for more informed content and hopefully increase the potential for accurate social commentary based on global culture.

Studying film theory, I hope will inform a greater understanding of the functions not visible through the projector. In order to understand the cultural shifts in light of history it is important to see how theories communicate meaning and dispense individual schemas of the world. It is important to accept theory as such: theory. However without a fundamental understanding of the guiding principles informing film and theory potentially strong indicators of meaning might slip by as nuance.

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