How to Read a Film

How to Read a Film : The World of Movies, Media, Multimedia - Language, History, Theory

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Description

First published in 1977, this popular book has become the source on film and media. Now, James Monaco offers a revised and rewritten third edition incorporating every major aspect of this dynamic medium right up to the present. Looking at film from many vantage points, How to Read a Film: Movies, Media, Multimedia explores the medium as both art and craft, sensibility and science, tradition and technology. After examining film's close relation to such other narrative media as the novel, painting, photography, television, and even music, Monaco discusses those 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 a key departure from the book's previous editions, the new and still-evolving digital context of film is now emphasized throughout How to Read a Film. A new 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. Monaco has likewise doubled the size and scope of his "Film and Media: A Chronology" appendix. The book also features a new introduction, an expanded bibliography, and hundreds of illustrative black-and-white film stills and diagrams. It is a must for all film students, media buffs, and movie fans.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 672 pages
  • 166 x 232 x 34mm | 1,038.72g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Revised
  • 3rd Revised edition
  • numerous halftones and line illustrations
  • 019513981X
  • 9780195139815

Review quote

*Praise for previous editions: "This book is a compliment to the reader....Monaco's spirit is gracious; he has a gift for making accumulations of detail relevant and uncluttered. His manner is modest and undidactic, and he is painstakingly scrupulous."--Samson Raphaelson, Film Comment"Anyone who writes about film, who is interested in film seriously, just has to have [Monaco's book]."--Richard Roud, Director, New York Film Festival"The best single work of its kind."--Richard Gilman"An astute and thoroughgoing analysis....Monaco is cuts above the popular 'criticism' of Reed, Kael, et al. He is lucid and sophisticated."--Publishers Weekly *Praise for previous editions: "This book is a compliment to the reader....Monaco's spirit is gracious; he has a gift for making accumulations of detail relevant and uncluttered. His manner is modest and undidactic, and he is painstakingly scrupulous."--Samson Raphaelson, Film Comment "Anyone who writes about film, who is interested in film seriously, just has to have [Monaco's book]."--Richard Roud, Director, New York Film Festival "The best single work of its kind."--Richard Gilman "An astute and thoroughgoing analysis....Monaco is cuts above the popular 'criticism' of Reed, Kael, et al. He is lucid and sophisticated."--Publishers Weekly *Praise for previous editions: "This book is a compliment to the reader....Monaco's spirit is gracious; he has a gift for making accumulations of detail relevant and uncluttered. His manner is modest and undidactic, and he is painstakingly scrupulous."--Samson Raphaelson, Film Comment"Anyone who writes about film, who is interested in film seriously, just has to have [Monaco's book]."--Richard Roud, Director, New York Film Festival"The best single work of its kind."--Richard Gilman"An astute and thoroughgoing analysis....Monaco is cuts above the popular 'criticism' of Reed, Kael, et al. He is lucid and sophisticated."--Publishers Weekly *Praise for previous editions: "This book is a compliment to the reader....Monaco's spirit is gracious; he has a gift for making accumulations of detail relevant and uncluttered. His manner is modest and undidactic, and he is painstakingly scrupulous."--Samson Raphaelson, Film Comment "Anyone who writes about film, who is interested in film seriously, just has to have [Monaco's book]."--Richard Roud, Director, New York Film Festival "The best single work of its kind."--Richard Gilman "An astute and thoroughgoing analysis....Monaco is cuts above the popular 'criticism' of Reed, Kael, et al. He is lucid and sophisticated."--Publishers Weekly *Praise for previous editions: "This book is a compliment to the reader....Monaco's spirit is gracious; he has a gift for making accumulations of detail relevant and uncluttered. His manner is modest and undidactic, and he is painstakingly scrupulous."--Samson Raphaelson, Film Comment"Anyone who writes about film, who is interested in film seriously, just has to have [Monaco's book]."--Richard Roud, Director, New York Film Festival"The best single work of its kind."--Richard Gilman"An astute and thoroughgoing analysis....Monaco is cuts above the popular 'criticism' of Reed, Kael, et al. He is lucid and sophisticated."--Publishers Weeklyshow more

Table of contents

INTRODUCTION; PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION; PART 1: FILM AS AN ART; THE NATURE OF ART; WAYS OF LOOKING AT ART; FILM, RECORDING, AND THE OTHER ARTS; THE STRUCTURE OF ART; PART 2: TECHNOLOGY: IMAGE AND SOUND; ART AND TECHNOLOGY; THE LENS; THE CAMERA; THE FILMSTOCK; THE SOUNDTRACK; POSTPRODUCTION; VIDEO AND FILM; PROJECTION; PART 3: THE LANGAUGE OF FILM: SIGNS AND SYNTAX; SIGNS; SYNTAX; PART 4: THE SHAPE OF FILM HISTORY; MOVIES/FILM/CINEMA; "MOVIES": ECONOMICS; "FILM": POLITICS; "CINEMA": ESTHETICS; PART 5: 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; PART 6: MEDIA: IN THE MIDDLE OF THINGS; COMMUNITY; PRINT AND ELECTRONIC MEDIA; THE TECHNOLOGY OF MECHANICAL AND ELECTRONIC MEDIA; RADIO AND RECORDS; TELEVISION AND VIDEO; PART 7: 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?; I FILM AND MEDIA: A CHRONOLOGY; TO 1895: PREHISTORY; 1896-1915: THE BIRTH OF FILM; 1916-1930: SILENT FILM, THE BIRTHS OF RADIO AND SOUND FILM; 1931-1945: THE GREAT AGE OF HOLLYWOOD AND RADIO; 1946-1960: THE GROWTH OF TELEVISION; 1961-1980: THE MEDIA WORLD; 1981-PRESENT: THE DIGITAL WORLD; II READING ABOUT FILM AND MEDIA; PART ONE: A BASIC LIBRARY; PART TWO: INFORMATION; INDEX; TOPICS; PEOPLE; TITLESshow more

About James Monaco

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.show more

Rating details

742 ratings
3.8 out of 5 stars
5 26% (194)
4 38% (283)
3 28% (208)
2 6% (44)
1 2% (13)
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