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Cover

How to Read a Film

Movies, Media, and Beyond

Fourth Edition

James Monaco

Publication Date - May 2009

ISBN: 9780195321050

736 pages
Paperback
6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

In Stock

Retail Price to Students: $29.95

"Anyone who writes about film, or who is interested in film seriously, just has to have it." --Richard Roud, Director of the New York Film Festival

Description

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.

Features

  • A special anniversary edition of James Monaco's classic work
  • Features 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"
  • Includes hundreds of illustrative black-and-white film stills and diagrams

About the Author(s)

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.

Reviews

"Anyone who writes about film, or who is interested in film seriously, just has to have it."--Richard Roud, Director of the New York Film Festival

Table of Contents

    Introduction
    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
    The Lens
    The Camera
    The Filmstock
    The Soudtrack
    Post-Production
    Video and Film
    Projection
    III. The Language of Film: Signs and Syntax
    Signs
    Syntax
    IV. The Shape of Film History
    Movies/Film/Cinema
    "Movies": Economics
    "Film": Politics
    "Cinema": Aesthetics
    V. Film Theory: Form and Function
    The Critic
    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
    Community
    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
    Index