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A History of Narrative Film [Paperback]

David A Cook
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

25 April 1996
This guide to the history of narrative film evaluates important film-makers and assesses film-making techniques. Coverage in the third edition has been extended to Third World cinema in Africa and Asia and to the films of the former Soviet Union.

Product details

  • Paperback: 1116 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Co.; 3rd Revised edition edition (25 April 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393968197
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393968194
  • Product Dimensions: 25.6 x 20.4 x 3.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 471,191 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent resource and very accessible. 13 Dec 2000
By A Customer
A very concise and and uncomplicated book, ideal for students as a reference point. It traces the history and genres of film chronologically without ever becoming pretentious, but without being half-hearted. Pretty much everything you can think of is covered and is easy to find and covered in great detail. You'd be hard pushed to find a more accessible and thorough film history book anyway. Outstanding.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect 11 Dec 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Bought it for myself as I'm doing a BA in Film Studies. Perfect for references, education and learning how to best structure a response to a question. Thanks!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  10 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Encyclopedic Coverage 15 May 2000
By Donald Beale - Published on Amazon.com
Even considering its more than 1,000 pages, this book packs an astounding amount of information between its covers. In attempting to provide a comprehensive history, the book's strength sometimes becomes its weakness--on many topics, Cook offers sketchy coverage, occasionally reduced to simple lists of films and filmmakers. A natural hazard, perhaps, of such an undertaking. Despite that, there are many excellent sections, including those on the early development of the film industry and some of the discussions of particular films, directors, and genres, such as Potememkin, Orson Welles, and film noir. Ultimately, it's a worthwhile volume for the reference shelf of anyone interested in film.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the best General History available 31 Jan 2002
By Mad Dog - Published on Amazon.com
Imagine having the gall to write a history of "Narrative Film" -- not just Hollywood production, but ALL film, from ALL OVER...
Well Cook does, and does it better than anyone else.
The most amazing thing about this book is that is reads so well: you can literally open it up anywhere, start reading, and start learning -- and be entertained at the same time. I just love reading this book.
The second amazing thing is that Cook seems to have seen a lot of movies and taken the time to think carefully about them. As a result his comments, his sense of historical perspective, and his assertions are usually accurate, frequently insightful, and always enlightenling.
If you're studying film in ANY context, this is the book to buy. If you prefer a video store with a foreign language section instead of your local Blockbuster, this is the catalog for you. Within days of reading this book I was making lists of films that I had to see (The Red And The White, and the Wadja trilogy among them), and running out to find them.
For those in need of a text-book, this is the best value-for-money you can get. For thos FEARING a text-book, relax: it's actually a real page turner.
Any short-commings? There are some minor factual errors (the photographs demonstrating zoom, telephoto and wide lenses use inaccurate frames from Barry Lyndon, for example), but nothing to worry about -- there so much about this book that's good it really doesn't make a difference. The only real problem is that it will never be big enough.
This is the book against which the others are judged.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An awesome source of information! 29 Nov 2003
By Sam Lee - Published on Amazon.com
I originally found this book while researching the film ratings system for a college paper. I found great information for my research but the book actually slowed down my work because I spent so much time reading about unrelated topics just for the joy of it. This is a must own for anybody who loves film. I found it not only informative but also extremely interesting.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive. 18 Oct 1999
By Samuel Chell - Published on Amazon.com
It's between this text or Gerald Mast's. Personally I find the Mast book a bit more balanced and readable. Cook gives such lengthy, descriptive accounts of films such as Birth, Potemkin, and Kane that students can practically skip viewing the films.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Extremely comprehensive! 6 Oct 2003
By Ted - Published on Amazon.com
An excellent compendium of cinematic knowledge, from Edison and Lumiere up to Robocop and Tron. I happen to also be taking a film history class with Dr. Cook and I can say that although his teaching style is a bit dry, he certainly knows his stuff. The book is well organized in terms of chronology and geography, tracing artistic movements and schools of thought from the prehistory through 1895 and beyond. The only thing that kept it from 5 stars would be its sometimes overwhelming amount of information (particularly lists of foreign film titles, not all of which are translated) - as a student, I would prefer that the text focused on the films that had a discerable impact on the development of the genre rather than just being listed for their own sake. Definitely recommended!
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