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Film as Art Paperback – Deluxe Edition, March 6, 2006


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 230 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press; 50th Anniversary Printing edition (March 6, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520248376
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520248373
  • Product Dimensions: 4.5 x 0.8 x 7.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #99,253 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"More than half a century since its initial publication, this deceptively compact book remains among the most incisive analyses of the formal and perceptual dynamics of cinema. No one who cares about film can afford to remain ignorant of its insights and wisdom. As digital technology fundamentally alters motion pictures, the lessons of Film as Art commend themselves as excellent insurance against reinventing the wheel in the new media landscape and hailing it as progress." - Edward Dimendberg author of Film Noir and the Spaces of Modernity "After more than eight decades, Rudolph Arnheim's small book of film theory remains one of the essential works in defining film art, understanding film less as reproducing the world than as opening up new possibilities for formal play and unexpected imagery. Anyone serious about film, whether scholar, filmmaker or simply a lover of cinema, must take Arnheim seriously." - Tom Gunning, author of The Films of Fritz Lang (2000) and D.W. Griffith and the Origins of American Narrative Film (1994)"

From the Inside Flap

“More than half a century since its initial publication, this deceptively compact book remains among the most incisive analyses of the formal and perceptual dynamics of cinema. No one who cares about film can afford to remain ignorant of its insights and wisdom. As digital technology fundamentally alters motion pictures, the lessons of Film as Art commend themselves as excellent insurance against reinventing the wheel in the new media landscape and hailing it as progress.”—Edward Dimendberg author of Film Noir and the Spaces of Modernity

“After more than eight decades, Rudolph Arnheim's small book of film theory remains one of the essential works in defining film art, understanding film less as reproducing the world than as opening up new possibilities for formal play and unexpected imagery. Anyone serious about film, whether scholar, filmmaker or simply a lover of cinema, must take Arnheim seriously.”—Tom Gunning, author of The Films of Fritz Lang and D.W. Griffith and the Origins of American Narrative Film

“An aesthetic theory based on the formal ‘limitations’ of the medium, Arnheim’s Film as Art always provokes students in an age of few limits and less formality, and they argue and engage this classic text with unparalleled passion. Written in the wake of sound’s transformation of the cinema, Arnheim’s essays are not only central to understanding a major historical moment in theoretical debates about what constitutes the ‘essence’ of film, but also are a must read for anyone seeking a lucid, detailed, and rigorous argument about how works of art emerge from expressive constraint as much as expressive freedom.”—Vivian Sobchack, author of Carnal Thoughts

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Read as an essentialist treatise on the nature of film as art, Rudolf Arnheim's "Film as Art" may feel like something of a dead end or a historical curiosity -- there was a period during which some of the major questions for cultural and art critics interested in film were: is film a new art form or does it draw its artistic potential from other more traditional art forms that can be said to be integrated into film? If it is a new form of art what is new about it? how should art critics approach this new medium? To these questions, Arnheim offers a powerful and convincing defense of the idea that film is its own art form, with its own distinctive artistic potential. Now that "we" no longer need to be convinced that film is an art form, or is at least capable of rivalling any other art forms on occasion, his detailed and meticulous argument that draws upon a broad familiarity both with the history and techniques of film to his day may appear dated and reactionary. I think this need to prove that film is an art against a number of prominent art theorists is really what one of the other reviewers ("vampyroboy," in an otherwise quite interesting review) is detecting when he describes the book as characterized by "self-hatred."

On the other hand, Arnheim's book is not merely a reactionary treatise intended to prove that film really is a unique art form. Moreover, the book does more than merely defend one of the classical positions in the "realist" versus "formalist" debate -- Arnheim's position in this debate is much more nuanced than the standard histories of film and film criticism tend to attribute to "formalist film theorists.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Mihai N Anton on February 25, 2003
Format: Paperback
This book must be read by anyone with interests in film critiques and in Cinema in general.Arnheim argued that film comes from limitations , and ideed, I believe that he was absolutely right. Because film is not an unique art, but is builded up from other fields. The first thing that an artist must know is that you always have to leave something to be interpreted, you have to send a message. And how can you do that if you show everything?How can you possibly consider art something that does not need interptretation? Because like Arnheim said "what does not have a meaning has no place in art" Indeed, in his book , he explains that the composition of the film must be intermetiated between the margins of the screen. Also, that the black and white image is far superior to the coloured one.And here you can ask yourselves that how it is possible that the black & white photography is still used even nowadays? I believe that anyone interested in film should read this book.
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11 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 1, 1999
Format: Paperback
An amazing analysis of the perceptual principles involved in film viewing. Arnheim provides a fascinating and scholarly look at the psychological and physiological aspects of cinema. A profound and thought-provoking work.
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