From Library Journal
Keil (cinema studies & history, Univ. of Toronto) examines early American silent cinema in terms of narrative, showing how narrative film techniques evolved in terms of length, complexity, and popularity with the changing of the medium. Taking a scholarly approach and basing his work on films in the archives of the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the London film archives, among others, Keil offers a shot-by-shot analysis of six sample one-reel films from 1907 to 1913, focusing on the film company (e.g., Biograph or Vitagraph) rather than on an auteur. One weakness of the book is the initial citation of the sample films by title, company, and date, which fails to provide a quick frame of reference for director or cast. Nevertheless, the book presents a good alternative to the usual D.W. Griffith perspective. For collections in film history and analysis. Barbara Kundanis, Batavia P.L., IL
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"An important contribution to the exploration of silent cinema." - Kristin Thompson, series editor