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How to Read a Film: Movies, Media, and Beyond: The World of Movies, Media, Multimedia: Language, History, Theory [Paperback]

James Monaco
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
Price: 18.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

8 May 2009
Richard Gilman referred to How to Read a Film as simply "the best single work of its kind." And Janet Maslin in The New York Times Book Review marveled at James Monaco's ability to collect "an enormous amount of useful information and assemble it in an exhilaratingly simple and systematic way." Indeed, since its original publication in 1977, this hugely popular book has become the definitive source on film and media.
Now, James Monaco offers a special anniversary edition of his classic work, featuring a new preface and several new sections, including an "Essential Library: One Hundred Books About Film and Media You Should Read" and "One Hundred Films You Should See." As in previous editions, Monaco once again looks at film from many vantage points, as both art and craft, sensibility and science, tradition and technology. After examining film's close relation to other narrative media such as the novel, painting, photography, television, and even music, the book discusses the elements necessary to understand how films convey meaning, and, more importantly, how we can best discern all that a film is attempting to communicate. In addition, Monaco stresses the ever-evolving digital context of film throughout—one of the new sections looks at the untrustworthy nature of digital images and sound—and his chapter on multimedia brings media criticism into the twenty-first century with a thorough discussion of topics like virtual reality, cyberspace, and the proximity of both to film.
With hundreds of illustrative black-and-white film stills and diagrams, How to Read a Film is an indispensable addition to the library of everyone who loves the cinema and wants to understand it better.

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How to Read a Film: Movies, Media, and Beyond: The World of Movies, Media, Multimedia: Language, History, Theory + Film Art: An Introduction + The Oxford Guide to Film Studies
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Product details

  • Paperback: 730 pages
  • Publisher: OUP USA; 30 edition (8 May 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195321057
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195321050
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 16.3 x 3.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 48,641 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

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Product Description

Review

"Anyone who writes about film, or who is interested in film seriously, just has to have it."--Richard Roud, Director of the New York Film Festival

About the Author

James Monaco is a writer, publisher, and producer. His books include American Film Now, The New Wave, The Encyclopedia of Film, and The Connoisseur's Guide to the Movies. He lives and works in the New York City area.

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Customer Reviews

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4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a seminal paper or book. It's easy to read but engages you in how films have been made and the hidden sub-text or meaning that comes through via everything from the use of symbols, camera angles, choice of actor, lighting, sound, etc. It provides a historical context too, so that you can see how film making and the stories told through film have evolved with the changes in technology, society and culture... from the variety shows that spun off from the early vaudville traditions and theatre to today's evolution of reality TV concepts that have emerged as a result of the web and technology bringing the audience closer to the production. I sense it was written for someone who wants to study the art of film making and the orgins of the Art BUT, even if you are simply a film buff or want to have a better appreciation of the art and the hidden meaning in films (whether for TV or the big screen) it's a rewarding read... it can make a dinner conversation more interesting.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a great book! 16 Oct 2008
Format:Paperback
I am just writing this to 'adjust' the rating and earlier review written for this book, as I find it can be quite misleading.

This is indeed a great read on film analysis, full of interesting examples and insightful comments. The chapter on Film Language is very well articulated and has been used as reference text in many film seminars, not only by myself.

Describing a book that addresses constructing meaning in cinematic language as "too dense", like another reviewer has done, is missing the point altogether.

The product description is spot on.
If you like cinema, you will like this book!
If want to know more about "How to Read Films" this is an excellent book and you will like it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice 11 Dec 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Specifically on mise-en-scene this book helps decipher how, why and for what purpose. Brilliant for any first starter. Thanks very much!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for film makers 3 Jan 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
superb in-depth look at the movie industry and film making. A must read for potential film makers and movie buffs
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Uni Gift 14 Mar 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is used by my son for his course work, he uses it regularly for reference, he says it is a very informative book
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