8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Film: A Critical Introduction (Paperback)
This is not only the best introduction to film studies that I've found, it's also a model of how a textbook should be organized and written. After an opening chapter on plot structure and thematic analysis, it goes in-depth into the elements of film form, with chapters on narrative form, mise en scene, cinematography, editing, and sound. The final section includes chapters on documentary and avant-garde film, writing about film, social context, ideology, stardom, genre, film authorship, and the economics of the film industry. Everything is covered very in-depth and in detail, with lots of excellent examples and photos. There is also a helpful film glossary in back. The writing is model of clarity and organization. This textbook is notable for the way that writing instruction is integrated into the text. Each chapter concludes with brief essay which exemplifies the concepts and terms used in the chapter, and includes margin notes which discuss the formal and rhetorical features of a college essay, including organization, research, thesis statement, and so on. There is also a concise chapter devoted entirely to writing about film, including the different kinds of essays typically assigned by professors. Students who read carefully will be well prepared to write film analysis papers for their college classes. Since this is an introductory text, it doesn't try to give complete coverage to film history and film theory, although these topics are introduced. Film history and theory really need to be covered in separate books and classes, as the authors recognize.