- Series: Writers and Readers Documentary Comic Book
- Paperback: 384 pages
- Publisher: Writers & Readers; illustrated edition edition (December 1998)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0863162754
- ISBN-13: 978-0863162756
- Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.8 x 8.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,645,284 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The History of Cinema for Beginners (Writers and Readers Documentary Comic Book) Paperback – December, 1998
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Top Customer Reviews
Aside from the fact that I didn't much care for the art as art, it's used very sparingly to illustrate what is essentially a very long list (more below) interspersed with a few essays. The art generally draws on an element of one of the films discussed on that page, but rarely adds much to the discussion. There could have been detailed discussion of types of shot, editing, art direction, etc. that would use illustrations in an important way, but there's little of that here. most of the art has a kind of goofy quality to it as well that is probably intended to make the book appear accessible, but for me it just felt like the author didn't really take the subject very seriously.
In addition the text quickly devolves into a list of notable films with a sentence or two about why they're important. This quickly gets to be a pretty dull read. It's largely chronological, but sub-grouped by country and director (wwhich actually works quite well as far as that goes). There are a few independent essays inserted along the way (mostly at the beginning) that discuss independent topics. These are a bit better written, but aren't enough to salvage the book.
It does cover quite a wide range of films and it did point me at some very interesting things to watch, but overall it was pretty disappointing.
I highly reccommend A History of Narrative Film by David Cook (pick up an older edition for cheap) which goes into depth on all sorts of things and uses actual film images to illustrate its points.