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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredibly useful for anyone studying the media.
As a student of A level Media Studies, i have found this book not only interesting but very useful in understanding cinema and televsion. It covers their histories and their meanings in todays society. Even though Media related books can go out of date very quickly, this book and the concepts and ideas in it are still relevent and thought provoking. I will definately...
Published on 14 Jun 2001

versus
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Despite several shortcomings, the book gives a good insight.
Visible Fiction is aimed not so much on the general public but more on the educated reader with some previous knowledge on the subject as well as a great interest in theories on the matter. In this book, the author's aim is to point out the differences of cinema and broadcast television rather than their interchangeability, as well as their interdependence rather than...
Published on 3 Nov 2001


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Despite several shortcomings, the book gives a good insight., 3 Nov 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Visible Fictions: Cinema: Television: Video (Paperback)
Visible Fiction is aimed not so much on the general public but more on the educated reader with some previous knowledge on the subject as well as a great interest in theories on the matter. In this book, the author's aim is to point out the differences of cinema and broadcast television rather than their interchangeability, as well as their interdependence rather than their direct competition. Ellis particularly argues their differences in their social roles, their forms of institutional organisation and their general aesthetic procedures and focuses on the distinct forms of representation, production and narration which are discussed separately and in comparison.
The book divides into three parts. In the first, 'Cinema', Ellis produces a generalised characterisation of cinema as a distinct mode of representation which is mainly based upon existing work in the area of cinema semiotics and aesthetics. In the second part, the author applied the established conception of cinema on his perceptions of broadcast TV. The third section analyses the differences between the two forms of production that the two media have developed, based on their distinct forms of representation.
Although the first two parts are supposed to examine both media separately, the author continuously compares them with one another which leads to frequent repetitions of his arguments. The reader has a constant feeling of 'déjà-vu'. This is mainly due to the structure of the book. It is impossible to examine one of the media without comparing or pointing out the differences to the other, thus creating repetition after repetition. Additionally, the structure of the chapters and the style of writing is not very comprehensible. Chapters are quite long without any recognisable structure of the arguments. The author also gets lost sometimes in his own numerations as does the reader, waiting for the second point of an argument which is never coming, or at least not recognisable. Ellis uses numerous examples of films and TV shows to support his arguments, which is very good on the one hand, hard to understand for younger readers and readers from outside of Britain on the other, though.
Despite those shortcomings, Visible Fiction definitely gives a good insight into cinema and broadcast television considering that it was first published in 1982. Even the revised edition in 1992 does not give too many details on video although promised. Chapters 13 and 15 give an excellent historic overview on the development of cinema and also broadcast TV up to that point in time.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredibly useful for anyone studying the media., 14 Jun 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Visible Fictions: Cinema: Television: Video (Paperback)
As a student of A level Media Studies, i have found this book not only interesting but very useful in understanding cinema and televsion. It covers their histories and their meanings in todays society. Even though Media related books can go out of date very quickly, this book and the concepts and ideas in it are still relevent and thought provoking. I will definately carry on using and referring to 'Visable Fictions' into my higher education (university) of Media and Communication Studies.
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Visible Fictions: Cinema: Television: Video
Visible Fictions: Cinema: Television: Video by John Ellis (Paperback - 23 July 1992)
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