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Hollywood Hollywood Lighting from the Silent Era to Film Noir (Film and Culture Series) Paperback – December 15, 2009


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Editorial Reviews

Review

Hollywood Lighting from the Silent Era to Film Noir should be considered essential reading by all film students and aspiring directors.

(Midwest Book Review)

This readable book provides welcome profiles of eminent cinematographers... and valuable research on the American Society of Cinematographers... Highly recommended.

(Choice)

This book taught my students and me to watch films in a new way.

(Karla Oeler Film Quarterly)

Review

Based on original research, this book forms an intelligent and perceptive study of a largely neglected but crucial aspect of Hollywood style. Knowledgeable about commentary on lighting across different genres and forms, Patrick Keating develops an analytical template for examining cinematographic practices that is logical, subtle, and powerful.

(Charles Wolfe, University of California, Santa Barbara)|

There is no book like Patrick Keating's that gives the uninitiated viewer a clear, systematic, formally rigorous, and historical understanding of light and shadow in studio movies.

(James O. Naremore, Indiana University)
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Product Details

  • Series: Film and Culture Series
  • Paperback: 312 pages
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press (December 15, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0231149034
  • ISBN-13: 978-0231149037
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #260,812 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on February 15, 2010
Format: Paperback
"Hollywood Lighting From The Silent Era To Film Noir" by Patrick Keating (Assistant Professor, Department of Communications, Trinity University) is a 296-page history of how directors used stage lighting in movies to perform a variety of functions ranging from enhancing the mood of a scene, to emphasizing action sequences, to framing actor personas, and so much more. "Hollywood Lighting From The Silent Era To Film Noir" is a seminal study drawing upon original research and utilizing specific films to illustrate how lighting play a pivotal role in the image-drawn storytelling that was the hallmark of Hollywood theatrical productions and the art of cinematography. Simply stated, "Hollywood Lighting From The Silent Era To Film Noir" should be considered essential reading by all film students and aspiring directors, and a part of all academic library cinematic studies and film history reference collections.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Reader on January 16, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Not only can scholars and amateur film buffs learn from this book, but Keating's work is a virtual manual on how to shoot films, and any d.p. would be wise to purchase it for that alone. (In this respect, one wishes Keating had provided a glossary for his useful terms that describes the variety of lighting strategies employed by Hollywood cinematographers.) Keating's research is impressive, and he provides ample background to clarify the debates and tensions at issue for these cinematographers. Keating also makes respectful emendations to ideas offered by previous scholars on the subject, showing us that he is every bit as moderate in his analysis as many of the great cinematographers of the era he describes were in their balancing of the variety of expectations placed on their work. Over the course of the book, he shows us how these men did indeed overturn the conception that they were mere "crank-turners" and were, in fact, genuine artists, every bit as worthy the name as a Rembrandt or Bronzino. This is a must read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on December 9, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
There is a lot of "lighting" golden concepts here, but the book has a lot of ASC history information that is mixed in that takes a bit of effort (like a lot of who is who in a historical ASC context). So it's a bit of a history book on personalities and a detailed book on lighting within that historical context, so you have to emerge yourself into that historical context to understand the lighting approaches.

So it's for sure not a simple "this is how you light a movie if your trying to do a 1920 piece", it gives a full thematic development of the lighting approach, with examples mixed in. As the stories develop the lighting concepts merge the motivations of the personalities with their lighting techniques. This book is a mandatory read for anyone doing black and white cinematography, but I would say it would also help "color" based lighting too, since both are based on contrast. It's also just a great historical read for people that aren't cinematographers, but more fan's of this period.
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Format: Paperback
If you want to understand dramatic lighting this is the text. You can read all the books that cover three point lighting and so on, but to understand dramatic lighting, you need scenes and narrative motivations.

Keating covers the evolution of lighting as a dramatic tool from its humble beginnings as three point portraiture lighting to the high water of Hollywood's most dramatic films.

I cannot recommend it highly enough.
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Hollywood Hollywood Lighting from the Silent Era to Film Noir (Film and Culture Series)
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