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Film Art: An Introduction by David Bordwell

Film Art: An Introduction

by David Bordwell, Kristin Thompson (Author)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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  DonnaMason | Mar 9, 2010 |
Have you ever wanted a very concise introduction to film, as a whole? Well, congratulations, you and I have something in common. What you may not have in common with me, though, is ownership of a book entitled "Film Art: An Introduction." My copy is the seventh edition. It was published in 2003. Since then, a lot of great films have come out, and even if there's an eighth, ninth, or tenth edition, it will still be behind the times with respect to recent films. But after reading this book (in whatever recent edition you may procure) and the included Film Viewers Guide (also by Bordwell. See my library for more info), you will be ready to handle the onslaught of new films, and be able to explain to your friends, hopefully in terms they understand, what redeeming qualities that film had (you MUST start using the word "film" to describe what you once called a "movie." I mean, do you call them "talkies" or "colors"? Why still use "movie", unless you're used to just watching La Jetee?)

This book gives an overview of film in its entirety, covering things like the development of the film camera (at least, nontechnical aspects of it that non-engineers and optics people can understand), the film projector, as well as the film development process, pre-production, production, post-production, etc.

You will be amazed at how much stuff there is to know about films, unless you've read this book already, then you know what I mean, right!?

This book, while not meant for casual lazy day lap reading (it's a wobbly sort of book that sits better on a desk and is read best one chapter at a time over a longer time than most books), is a dense work that will leave you spotting more and more things in films, annoying your friends and family more and more as they watch films with you. You'll find your taste in films changing, and since you've alienated all your friends and family, you'll find yourself at art house theaters (though they may call themselves "theatres"), watching movies by yourself, with all the other people there who too have alienated themselves from their friends and family. You could try to make friends with them, but they're just as annoying as you.

Be warned, though, that if you are going to read this book, you may want to see the major films they discuss (at least Citizen Kane) BEFORE reading it, as it's one big spoiler for every film ever (not really, but it goes under the assumption that if you're reading it, you've either seen the films, or really don't care for the surprise ending in which you find out that Rosebud was actually a mystical dragon that Charles Foster Kane used to hang out with along the beachfront in his boyhood days, or whatever it was that Rosebud actually was).

Nevertheless, if you're like me (and if you've gotten this far, you at least LIKE me, or my review, which is a part of me, as I wrote it), you have this voracious appetite for film and books (and some music, but not as much), then this book ABOUT film will be of great interest to you.

If you hate film, or hate reading (then goodness, why are you reading a BOOK review?), then you may want to avoid this book, as it's a lot of work, and will just make you more annoying. ( )
1 vote aethercowboy | Mar 4, 2009 |
  Budzul | May 31, 2008 |
This is a well-designed textbook to build an intro to film course on, although I don't think it's well formatted for casual reading (big and floppy). Bordwell and Thompson's explanations are clear and cover a lot of ground, allowing students to begin analyzing how impressions are accomplished, and the full-color photos are worth the price. The series of "screenshots" from the films help to build up a point even when you don't have the film itself available to examine and follow along. They are also great about including both classic and recent movies, so that a recent edition is likely to include at least some familiar films. And the notes at the end of each chapter give some teasers on interesting further topics.

1. Film Production, Distribution, and Exhibition
2. The Significance of Film Form
3. Narrative as a Formal System
4. Film Genres
5. Documentary, Experimental, and Animated Films
6. The Shot: Mise-en-Scene
7. The Shot: Cinematography
8. The Relation of Shot to Shot: Editing
9. Sound in the Cinema
10. Style as a Formal System
11. Film Criticism: Sample Analyses
12. Film Form and Film History ( )
1 vote chellerystick | May 9, 2008 |
  UMYDE | Jan 8, 2008 |
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
David Bordwellprimary authorall editionscalculated
Thompson, KristinAuthormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Thompson, KristinAuthormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dominková, PetraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hanzlík, JanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kofroň, VáclavTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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We all know that films are like buildings, books, and symphonies—artifacts made by humans for human purposes.
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textbook for film class : Theatre UAF : film.vtheatre.net [ Film & Movies ] including DVD/CD and website
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0072484551, Paperback)

Film Art is often assigned to college students taking their first film class. Authors David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson do not follow the traditional method of teaching film art through a close analysis of individual films. Instead, they provide an overview of the major issues students confront when they watch movies. In clear, straightforward prose, the authors describe and dissect the complexities of filmmaking, film narrative, film form, and film technique. This book serves as a fine introduction not only to the field of film studies, but also to the theories and concerns of two of the most important scholars in that field.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:04 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

Film is an art form with a language and an aesthetic all its own. In this new edition, the authors provide an introduction to the fundamentals of serious film study, with images throughout the text collected from actual film frames, not from production stills or advertising photos.… (more)

» see all 4 descriptions

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