How to Read a Film

How to Read a Film : The Art, Technology, Language, History and Theory of Film and Media

3.81 (735 ratings by Goodreads)
  • Paperback
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Product details

  • Paperback | 518 pages
  • 162.56 x 233.68 x 40.64mm | 725.74g
  • Oxford University Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • 209figs.
  • 0195021789
  • 9780195021783

Review Text

Written especially for introductory film courses, this represents "an overview of all the important issues in contemporary film study"; but Monaco's multi-disciplinary approach is likely to invite use in communications, media, and criticism studies as well. He provides a balance of lucid technical information and exposition of "the language of film," as well as theory (Eisenstein, Bazin, semiotics, etc.) and aesthetical discussions that illuminate film's relationships with the novel, theater, painting, TV, music, and more recent art movements (aleatoric, environmental, found) - achieving an unusually successful purview of his complex subject. Monaco believes that for the last hundred years the history of the arts is bound up with the challenge of film. Generalizations and hypotheses are inevitable, but the author recognizes the complicated interrelationships of the media - the consequences enjoined by the marriage of the artistic imagination and technology, in which the first is often coerced into new self-definition by the second and emerges to reshape our suppositions and our perceptions. Though he may elicit occasional, if respectful, disagreement, he seldom falls to be stimulating, informed, and informative. The book also benefits from a glossary, a subject-by-subject bibliography, and capsule precis and criticisms of the world's major film makers. An itemized description of the 170 halftones and 40 diagrams suggests their utility and appositeness also. (Kirkus Reviews)show more

Rating details

735 ratings
3.81 out of 5 stars
5 26% (194)
4 38% (279)
3 28% (205)
2 6% (45)
1 2% (12)
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