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How to Read a Film: The World of Movies, Media, Multimedia: Language, History, Theory

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9780195038699: How to Read a Film: The World of Movies, Media, Multimedia: Language, History, Theory
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Few books on film have met with such critical acclaim as How to Read a Film. Since its original publication in 1977, this hugely popular book has become the definitive source on film and media. Now, James Monaco offers a completely revised and rewritten third edition that brings every major aspect of this dynamic medium right up to the present day. Looking at film from many vantage points, Monaco discusses the elements necessary to understand how a film conveys its meaning, and, more importantly, how the audience can best discern all that a film is attempting to communicate. He begins by setting movies in the context of the more traditional arts such as the novel, painting, photography, theater -- even music-- demonstrating that film as a narrative technique is directly comparable to these older mediums. He points out that much of what we see and experience in film can be traced directly back to other art forms. Accordingly, as film is a technology as well as an art, he examines the intriguing science of cinema and follows the development of the electronic media and its parallel growth with film during this century. A new chapter on multimedia brings media criticism into the late 1990s with a thorough discussion of such topics as virtual reality and cyberspace and their relationship to film. Monaco goes on to show how film operates as a language, describing the various techniques and concepts responsible for the often visceral reactions that only film can elicit. Lavishly illustrated with over 350 halftones and seventy-four original diagrams, as well as discussions on the development of the art of movies and the major theoretical developments of the last seventy-five years, How to Read a Film is an exciting and definitive behind the scenes look at the complex world of film.

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*Praise for previous editions: "This book is a compliment to the reader....Monaco's spirit is gracious; he has a gift for making accumulations of detail relevant and uncluttered. His manner is modest and undidactic, and he is painstakingly scrupulous."--Samson Raphaelson, Film Comment "An astute and thoroughgoing analysis....Monaco is cuts above the popular 'criticism' of Reed, Kael, et al. He is lucid and sophisticated."--Publishers Weekly *Praise for previous editions: "This book is a compliment to the reader....Monaco's spirit is gracious; he has a gift for making accumulations of detail relevant and uncluttered. His manner is modest and undidactic, and he is painstakingly scrupulous."--Samson Raphaelson, Film Comment "An astute and thoroughgoing analysis....Monaco is cuts above the popular 'criticism' of Reed, Kael, et al. He is lucid and sophisticated."--Publishers Weekly *Praise for previous editions: "This book is a compliment to the reader....Monaco's spirit is gracious; he has a gift for making accumulations of detail relevant and uncluttered. His manner is modest and undidactic, and he is painstakingly scrupulous."--Samson Raphaelson, Film Comment "An astute and thoroughgoing analysis....Monaco is cuts above the popular 'criticism' of Reed, Kael, et al. He is lucid and sophisticated."--Publishers Weekly *Praise for previous editions: "This book is a compliment to the reader....Monaco's spirit is gracious; he has a gift for making accumulations of detail relevant and uncluttered. His manner is modest and undidactic, and he is painstakingly scrupulous."--Samson Raphaelson, Film Comment "An astute and thoroughgoing analysis....Monaco is cuts above the popular 'criticism' of Reed, Kael, et al. He is lucid and sophisticated."--Publishers Weekly *Praise for previous editions: "This book is a compliment to the reader....Monaco's spirit is gracious; he has a gift for making accumulations of detail relevant and uncluttered. His manner is modest and undidactic, and he is painstakingly scrupulous."--Samson Raphaelson, Film Comment "An astute and thoroughgoing analysis....Monaco is cuts above the popular 'criticism' of Reed, Kael, et al. He is lucid and sophisticated."--Publishers Weekly

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.

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