This book goes through the basics into the intermediate stages of understanding film. The pages are bright and the text is very interesting. I read most of this textbook for fun. The specific reference films are good ones so you won't mind watching them(which I highly suggest anyway). The pacing is great and the topics covered include film art and how to understand what you're watching as well as some technical aspects. I learned quite a bit in the 1st chapter alone - this is what a textbook should be like!
This was assigned in my film history class; but I plan to read the whole thing again later, because it is not only informative but it's also a very good read. It's well organized and puts together a cohesive look at how films go together. I don't give it full marks because it does have the usual murky areas and overly textbook-ish spots. It's also way overpriced for something that isn't available new and yet is not a 'vintage' book.
This is a nice tool for helping you begin to understand the many complexities of what it takes to make a movie. A nice resource to have but a little bare bones in the descriptive qualities. It's goal is to be a mile wide and an inch deep with information, just enough to get someone interested in the field but not enough to be all inclusive. The book is dated at this point as there are new versions of the text out.