This reference provides a comprehensive and accessible introduction to film and film studies, covering such aspects as production, national traditions, studios, genres, critical theory and film history. Approximately 200 entries cover specific topics, including acting, censorship, editing, lighting and others. Also included are more than 230 career profiles, placing individual achievements in the context of specific topics (for example, Robert Altman is featured in the article on "Sound"). Additional features include a comprehensive index; a list of further reading sources; 350 black-and-white and 150 full color photographs; and more.
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*Starred Review* There are more film reference works than most libraries need; Reference Books Bulletin has reviewed 175 film sources in the last 10 years. Perhaps because film territory is vast and film facts and reviews are readily available on the Internet, recent film sources tend to be specialized guides such as The Holocaust Film Sourcebook (Praeger, 2004) or The Encyclopedia of the Documentary Film (Routledge, 2005). Reasonably priced single-volume works abound, including Gale's Videohound series, the American Film Institute Desk Reference (DK, 2002), and Ephraim Katz's Film Encyclopedia (5th ed., Collins, 2005). Therefore, it is impressive that Schirmer has taken on—very successfully—a comprehensive, four-volume film encyclopedia with substantive articles written by contributors with stellar academic credentials. The Schrimer Encyclopedia of Film is intended to offer "a comprehensive and accessible overview of film history and theory with an American emphasis" to students, teachers, and general readers. The set's 200 thorough, expertly written articles include theory (Queer theory, Reception theory); genres (Road movies, Westerns); national cinema (Cuba, India); artistic and technical topics (Cinematography, Makeup); actor categories (Animal actors, Child actors); writing (Adaptation, Screenwriting); historical contexts (Cold war, Vietnam War); and studios (United Artists, Walt Disney Company). Each article concludes with suggestions for further reading, mostly recent or classic books plus the occasional Web site. The encyclopedia does not include articles on specific individuals or films but places one-page sidebar biographies within articles relating to the person's significance. For example, Cartoons has a sidebar on animator Chuck Jones. The more than 230 sidebars include selective suggestions for reading or viewing. Entries range from 1,500 to 9,000 words in length. Each entry and sidebar is signed. The 160 contributors are listed in the last volume along with their credentials. Editor Grant is professor of film studies and popular culture at Brock University and author of Documenting the Documentary: Close Readings of Documentary Film and Video (Wayne State, 1998) and The Film Studies Dictionary (Oxford, 2000), among other titles. Excellent black-and-white and color movie stills, portraits, and technical diagrams enhance the set; comprehensive indexes in each volume are accurate and convenient. A glossary defines specialized film terms (e.g., jump cut) and concepts (e.g., iconography, myth) necessary for understanding articles. The Schirmer Encyclopedia of Film is highly recommended for academic and public libraries and for high-school libraries supporting film studies. Whittington, ChristineFrom School Library Journal:
Grade 9 Up—Drawing on authoritative, international contributors, information on film is extensively documented in this set, which is intended as a film-studies staple. The alphabetically arranged volumes are titled as follows: "Academy Awards—Crime Films"; "Criticism—Ideology"; "Independent Film—Road Movies"; and "Romantic Comedy—Yugoslavia." Subtopics include countries, history, philosophies, and more, with information on individual movies often spread over several entries. Articles range from as few as 5 pages ("Slapstick comedy") to 17 pages ("Italy"). Contemporary topics, such as "Gay, lesbian and queer cinema," are included along with more-expected entries on "Teen films" and "Cinematography." See-also references guide readers to one or more related topics or subtopics, while further-reading suggestions provided after every entry list academic and popular articles and books. The more than 16,000 index entries, with major topics in bold type, make access straightforward. The text is highlighted with photographs varying in size, color, and clarity, along with brief biographies on related figures. While there is a plethora of good publications on film, such as Ephraim Katz's single-volume The Film Encyclopedia (HarperCollins, 2005) and his The Macmillan International Film Encyclopedia (2001), this set is more comprehensive and current. Public libraries and secondary schools, especially those with a focus on filmmaking, should plan to include it in their collections.—Tina Hudak, St. Albans School for Boys, Washington, DC
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