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Film Art: An Introduction 5th Edition

8 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0070066342
ISBN-10: 0070066345
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Editorial Reviews Review

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.

About the Author

David Bordwell is Jacques Ledoux Professor Emeritus of Film Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He holds a master's degree and a doctorate in film from the University of Iowa. His books include The Films of Carl Theodor Dreyer (University of California Press, 1981), Narration in the Fiction Film (University of Wisconsin Press, 1985), Ozu and the Poetics of Cinema (Princeton University Press, 1988), Making Meaning: Inference and Rhetoric in the Interpretation of Cinema (Harvard University Press, 1989), The Cinema of Eisenstein (Harvard University Press, 1993), On the History of Film Style (Harvard University Press, 1997), Planet Hong Kong: Popular Cinema and the Art of Entertainment (Harvard University Press, 2000), Figures Traced in Light: On Cinematic Staging (University of California Press, 2005), The Way Hollywood Tells It: Story and Style in Modern Movies (University of California Press, 2006), and The Poetics of Cinema (Routledge, 2008). He has won a University Distinguished Teaching Award and was awarded an honorary degree by the University of Copenhagen. His we site is Kristin Thompson is an Honorary Fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She holds a master's degree in film from the University of Iowa and a doctorate in film from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has published Eisenstein's Ivan the Terrible: A Neoformalist Analysis (Princeton University Press, 1981), Exporting Entertainment: America in the World Film Market 1907-1934 (British Film Institute, 1985), Breaking the Glass Armor: Neoformalist Film Analysis (Princeton University Press, 1988), Wooster Proposes, Jeeves Disposes, or, Le Mot Juste (James H. Heineman, 1992), Storytelling in the New Hollywood: Understanding Classical Narrative Technique (Harvard University Press, 1999), Storytelling in Film and Television (Harvard University Press, 2003), Herr Lubitsch Goes to Hollywood: German and American Film after World War I (Amsterdam University Press, 2005), and The Frodo Franchise: The Lord of the Rings and Modern Hollywood (University of California Press, 2007). She blogs with David at She maintains her own blog, "The Frodo Franchise," at In her spare time she studies Egyptology. The authors have also collaborated on Film History: An Introduction (McGraw-Hill, 3rd. ed., 2010) and, with Janet Staiger, on The Classical Hollywood Cinema: Film Style and Mode of Production to 1960 (Columbia University Press, 1985). --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Series: Film Art: An Introduction
  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Companies; 5th edition (1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0070066345
  • ISBN-13: 978-0070066342
  • Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 8 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #929,728 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

63 of 66 people found the following review helpful By Lawrance Bernabo HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on January 20, 2002
Format: Paperback
Teaching film requires you to look at film. The second week of my film course (they are always night classes that meet once a week so that you have enough time to actually screen something) I always drag in about 50 videotapes to work through the basic vocabulary of the cinema, covering everything from the close-up ("Queen Christina") to the crane-shot ("Gone With the Wind"), from tracking shots ("Touch of Evil") to the jump cut ("2001: A Space Odyssey"). Film textbooks face an inherent limitation in turns of what they can present on the printed page. However, "Film Art: An Introduction" by David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson is the proverbial exception to the rule. This is the preeminent introductory film textbook because it has literally hundreds of frames from classic and lesser known films, used to illustrate the key concepts of mise-en-scene, cinematography and editing.
"Film Art" is divided into five main sections: (I) Types of Filmmaking, Types of Films" covers how films are produced and the basic types/genres of films. (II) "Film Form" examines both narrative and nonnarrative formal systems in film, using "Citizen Kane" as a case study for narrative form. (III) "Film Style" is the main section of the textbook, dealing with the shot in terms of both mise-en-scene and cinematography, how editing relates shot to shot, and the function of sound. This section concludes with an analysis of film style in five diverse films.
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44 of 57 people found the following review helpful By dgljones on May 6, 1998
Format: Paperback
Way back when I went to University in dear old Blighty. My degree was Film,Tv and Radio Studies, and despite my total lack of application, or to be frank attendance, I graduated with honours and a unhealthy infatuation with Wine, Women and Song. There are two reasons why I graduated, 1 I have the ability to retain information, 2 Film Art by Boardwell and Thompson. Quite frankly the best text book in the history of further education. It is simple enough for the most inexperienced of students, but also it's depth and coverage is enough to give a basic foundation in the most complex of film theory. God bless you Boardwell & Thompsen, and if anyone out there wants both a degree and liver problems as a result of University, BUY THIS BOOK
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 24, 1998
Format: Paperback
I found this book to be a an interesting and
informative look at the history of films.
Well, to be honest, it has lots of pictures
and makes good use of them. If you love film,
you'll love this book.
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9 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Arturo Serrano on April 24, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book is useful as a university textbook, but is also excellent for filmgoers who would like to understand a bit more than the average audience.
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Want to discover more products? Check out these pages to see more: film art an introduction, thompson. film history., film aesthetics, david bordwell, introduction to art