With facts, gossip, pithy text, and a glossary of silver screen jargon, this compact course can turn readers into scintillating cinematic experts in no time. Everything readers need to know to hold forth knowledgeably on movies is here. 400 color illustrations.
patience, September 18, 2006 (view all comments by patience)
I'm only sorry that this text is out of print, as I'd order a dozen to use in class. This is an engaging, easy-to-read short history of film from its beginnings and the silent era through the studio era to the "indie" films of today. Across the top of each page is a progressive time line with fun facts to know and shout about films and events that affected the society of that time (and therefore films, which reflect that society). Each chapter focuses on a genre, for example "Hammer Studios horror films" or "film noir," explaining the main concepts and ideas associated with the genre and how that genre might relate to another one. Each chapter also has an italicized portion that delves into a more detailed explanation of a key idea. There are frequent "Roll the credits" boxes that list directors, actors, and others particularly associated with that genre. This text includes a one-page listing of every job title associated with the movies, from producer to "best boy" and "foley artist," and an index of often-used terms, such as deep focus and dolly. I'd recommend this text to anyone interested in the history and development of film and how films have affected our society.
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