Motion picture theory-or the theory of the moving image, as we prefer to call it-has been highly suspect amongst movie makers and critics alike. The major source of the skepticism here is the same in both instances. Movie makers and critics care about individual motion pictures-the one they are making or the one they are analyzing. Theory is, well, too theoretical; they want something practical-that is, something that they can put into practice. It is all well and good to speculate abstractly about the nature of the interaction between film and its audience. But the devil is, here as everywhere else, in the details, in the nuts and bolts of motion picture production and in the ways actual consumers are engaged by actual movies. Theory, it is charged, is too broad, too abstract to be of use; movie makers and critics want something more down to earth.