Keith and Richard,Your comments exemplify a tendency that seems to me a learned response rather than a spontaneous one. In relation to reading the meaning of a work of fiction, I've always disliked the mention of interpretive "theories".An artist almost never wishes his audience to come up with the correct theory for understanding the work.
A film is understood by an act of "reading". "Theory" is not the right word, as a theory is, by definition, a proposal subject to proof.
There are general filmmaking theories, just as there are theories guiding the creative processes of music, poetry, dance, painting, etc. But those exist as a set of principles to allow the artist (and audience) to judge the execution of the work. Those theories govern the application of technique within a given medium. I wonder if that is the source of confusion for some viewers.
I recently posted some thoughts to address questions similar to the ones you're asking.http://www.pelleas.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=807&sid=05118b8a78573fdde9d1104f828c383c
― Peter Chung, Tuesday, 11 March 2014 08:46 (seven years ago) link