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How to Read a Film: Movies, Media, and Beyond: Art, Technology, Language, History, Theoryby James Monaco
Synopses & Reviews
Richard Gilman referred to How to Read a Film as simply "the best single work of its kind." And Janet Maslin in The New York Times Book Review marveled at James Monaco's ability to collect "an enormous amount of useful information and assemble it in an exhilaratingly simple and systematic way." Indeed, since its original publication in 1977, this hugely popular book has become the definitive source on film and media.
Now, James Monaco offers a special anniversary edition of his classic work, featuring a new preface and several new sections, including an "Essential Library: One Hundred Books About Film and Media You Should Read" and "One Hundred Films You Should See." As in previous editions, Monaco once again looks at film from many vantage points, as both art and craft, sensibility and science, tradition and technology. After examining film's close relation to other narrative media such as the novel, painting, photography, television, and even music, the book discusses the elements necessary to understand how films convey meaning, and, more importantly, how we can best discern all that a film is attempting to communicate. In addition, Monaco stresses the still-evolving digital context of film throughout--one of the new sections looks at the untrustworthy nature of digital images and sound--and his chapter on multimedia brings media criticism into the twenty-first century with a thorough discussion of topics like virtual reality, cyberspace, and the proximity of both to film.
With hundreds of illustrative black-and-white film stills and diagrams, How to Read a Film is an indispensable addition to the library of everyone who loves the cinema and wants to understand it better.
Navajo Talking Picture, released in 1985, is one of the earliest and most controversial works of Native cinema. It is a documentary by Los Angeles filmmaker Arlene Bowman, who travels to the Navajo reservation to record the traditional ways of her grandmother in order to understand her own cultural heritage. For reasons that have often confused viewers, the filmmaker persists despite her traditional grandmotherand#8217;s forceful objections to the apparent invasion of her privacy. What emerges is a strange and thought-provoking work that abruptly calls into question the issue of insider versus outsider and other assumptions that have obscured the complexities of Native art.
Randolph Lewis offers an insightful introduction and analysis of Navajo Talking Picture, in which he shows that it is not simply the first Navajo-produced film but also a path-breaking work in the history of indigenous media in the United States. Placing the film in a number of revealing contexts, including the long history of Navajo people working in Hollywood, the ethics of documentary filmmaking, and the often problematic reception of Native art, Lewis explores the tensions and mysteries hidden in this unsettling but fascinating film.
First published in 1977, this popular book has become the source on film and media. Now, James Monaco offers a revised and rewritten third edition incorporating every major aspect of this dynamic medium right up to the present.
Looking at film from many vantage points, How to Read a Film: Movies, Media, Multimedia explores the medium as both art and craft, sensibility and science, tradition and technology. After examining film's close relation to such other narrative media as the novel, painting, photography, television, and even music, Monaco discusses those elements necessary to understand how films convey meaning and, more importantly, how we can best discern all that a film is attempting to communicate.
In a key departure from the book's previous editions, the new and still-evolving digital context of film is now emphasized throughout How to Read a Film. A new chapter on multimedia brings media criticism into the twenty-first century with a thorough discussion of topics like virtual reality, cyberspace, and the proximity of both to film. Monaco has likewise doubled the size and scope of his "Film and Media: A Chronology" appendix. The book also features a new introduction, an expanded bibliography, and hundreds of illustrative black-and-white film stills and diagrams. It is a must for all film students, media buffs, and movie fans.
About the Author
James Monaco is a writer, publisher, and producer. His books include American Film Now, The New Wave, The Encyclopedia of Film, and The Connoisseur's Guide to the Movies. He lives and works in the New York City area.
Table of Contents
I. Film as Art
The Nature of Art
Ways of Looking at Art
Film, Recording, and the Other Arts
The Structure of Art
II. Technology: Image and Sound
Art and Technology
Video and Film
III. The Language of Film: Signs and Syntax
IV. The Shape of Film History
V. Film Theory: Form and Function
The Poet and the Philosopher: Lindsay and Munsterberg
Expressionism and Realism: Arnheim and Kracauer
Montage: Pudovkin, Eisenstein, Balazs, and Formalism
Mise en Scene: Neorealism, Bazin, and Godard
Film Speaks and Acts: Metz and Contemporary Theory
VI. Media: The Middle of Things
Print and Electronic Media
The Technology of Mechanical and Electronic Media
Radio and Records
Television and Video
VII. Multimedia: The Digital Revolution
The Digital Revolution
The Myth of Multimedia
The Myth of Virtual Reality
The Myth of Cyberspace
"What is to be Done?"
Film and Media: A Chronology
Reading About Film and Media
What Our Readers Are Saying
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