Synopses & Reviews
Helps readers understand how the many languages of film work together to create meaning. Louis Giannetti organizes Understanding Movies around the key elements of filmmaking, including cintematography, Mise en Scène, movement, editing, sound, acting, drama, casting, story, screenwriting, ideology, and theory. He synthesizes every element through a complete case study: Citizen Kane. This book's ideas are illuminated with hundreds of high-quality still photos, more than 70 in full color, taken from movies such as The Matrix, Almost Famous, jackass the movie, Chicago, Lord of the Rings, Mystic River, and Traffic. New in this edition: a full section on contemporary special effects and computer generated imagery (CGI); up-to-the-minute information on new developments in film technology; more coverage of recent films and filmmakers; more ethnic diversity (including new material on the Islamic cinema); and more lavish use of color and high-quality paper. An updated Companion Website contains animations, video clips from interviews with movie professionals, and Research Navigator access to New York Times film reviews. For everyone who wants to understand the artistry and meaning of the movies.
"Giannetti's book is invaluable for anyone who wants a deeper appreciation of the movies. Drawing on a lifetime of wisdom, he explains clearly and passionately how the movies work, and why. I have used earlier editions of this classic work for years, recommend it constantly and welcome this latest edition." Roger Ebert, Ebert and Roeper
Designed to help movie watchers analyze films with precision and technical sophistication, this book focuses on formalism--how the forms of the film (e.g., camera work, editing, photography, etc.) create meaning. It sheds light on how television and movies communicate, and the complex network of language systems they use. Chapter topics cover recent developments from all aspects of cinema, contemporary films, personalities in the field, photography, movement, editing, sound, acting, drama, story writing, and theory. For movie critics and fans alike.
About the Author
Louis Giannetti is a Professor Emeritus of English and Film at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. He has taught courses in film, literature, writing, drama, and humanities. He has published many articles, both popular and scholarly, on political subjects, literature, and drama. In addition to being a professional film critic for several years, he has, written about movies for such scholarly journals as Literature/Film Quarterly, The Western Humanities Review, and Film Criticism. Professor Giannetti is also the author of a book on cinema theory. GODARD AND OTHERS: ESSAYS ON FILM FORM, published in both Britain and the United States. Professor Giannetti's other books include MASTERS OF THE AMERICAN CINEMA (Prentice Hall, 1981), a survey of American fiction films from the perspective of eighteen key figures. FLASHBACK: A BRIEF HISTORY OF FILM, FOURTH EDITION (Prentice Hall, 2001), written with Scott Eyman, is a history organized by decade, outlining the major events, trends, and important filmmakers and their work, with emphasis on the American cinema. Both books are copiously illustrated. UNDERSTANDING MOVIES has been a best-selling text in all its previous editions, widely used in the United States and in such countries as Australia, Britain, Singapore, Canada, New Zealand. South Africa, and Japan. It has been translated into Chinese, Korean, and Hebrew. Professor Giannetti is the father of two daughters, Christina and Francesca. He lives in Shaker Heights, where lie spends an inordinate amount of time tending his Japanese-style garden.
Table of Contents
(NOTE: Each chapter begins with an Overview and concludes with a Further Reading section and Chapter Ending Questions.
Realism and Formalism. The Shots. The Angles. Light and Dark. Color. Lenses, Filters, Stocks, The Special Effects. The Cinematographer.
2. Mise en Scène.
The Frame. Composition and Design. Territorial Space. Proxemic Patterns. Open and Closed Forms.
Kinetics. The Moving Camera. Mechanical Distortions of Movement.
Continuity. D.W. Griffith and Classical Cutting. Soviet Montage and the Formalist Tradition. André Bazin and the Tradition of Realism. Hitchcock's North by Northwest: Storyboard Version.
Historical Background. Sound Effects. Music. Musicals. Spoken Language.
Stage and Screen Acting. The American Star System. Styles of Acting. Casting.
Time, Space, and Language. The Director. Settings and Décor. Costumes and Makeup.
Narratology. The Spectator. The Classical Paradigm. Realistic Narratives. Formalistic Narratives. Nonfictional Narratives. Genre and Myth.
The Screenwriter. The Screenplay. North by Northwest: Reading Version. Figurative Comparisons. Point of View. Literary Adaptations.
The Left-Center-Right Model. Culture, Religion, and Ethnicity. Feminism. Gay Liberation. Tone.
11. Critique (formerly Theory).
Types of Critiques. Theories of Realism. Formalist Film Theories. The Auteur Theory. Eclectic and Synthetic Approaches. Structuralism and Semiology. Historiography.
12. Synthesis: Citizen Kane .
Photography. Mise en Scène. Movement. Editing. Sound. Acting. Drama. Story. Writing. Ideology. Critique.