Movies and Meaning

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  • Edition: 6th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 1/26/2012
  • Publisher: Pearson

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Updated in a new 6thedition, Movies and Meaningis a comprehensive introduction to the film industry that focuses on three topics: how movies express meanings, how viewers understand those meanings, and how cinema functions globally as both an art and a business. It examines both how filmmakers create images and sounds and the mechanisms and processes by which viewers make sense of images and stories on screen.

Table of Contents



1. Film Structure.

Elements of Film Structure.

Structure and the Camera.

Structural Design and Creative Choice.

The Camera and Human Perception: Cinema's Dual Capability.


2. Cinematography.

Collaboration and Previsualization.

The Essentials of Cinematography.

Cinematography and the Digital Domain.

Visual Style and Design Quotations.


3. Production Design.

What the Production Designer Does.

Basic Tools of Production Design.

The Design Concept.

Production Design and Special Effects.


4. Acting.

Acting in Film and Theater.

Categories of Film Performers.

Method and Technical Approaches to Performing.

The Performer as an Element of Visual Design.

Performance, Emotion, and the Viewer’s Response.


5. Editing: Making the Cut.

What Is Editing?

Linear and Nonlinear Systems.

Functions of Editing.

The Principles of Continuity Editing.

Alternatives to Continuity Editing.


6. Principles of Sound Design.

Sound in Contemporary Film.

Evolution of Film Sound.

Types of Sound.

Sound Design.


7. The Nature of Narrative in Film.

Story and Script.

The Turn to Narrative in Early Film History.

Elements of Narrative.

The Classical Hollywood Narrative.

The Viewer's Contribution to Narrative.

Film Genres.


8. Visual Effects

A Composited Medium


The Hollywood Era

The Digital Era

Narrative and Spectacle


9. Modes of Screen Reality.



Fantasy and the Fantastic.

Cinematic Self-Reflexivity.



10. At the Crossroads of Art and Business.

From Large Screens to Small.

The Art of Film Era.

The Global Dominance of Hollywood.

Independent Film.

International Influence of Hollywood Style.


11. Film Theory and Criticism

Realist Models.

Auteurist Models.

Psychoanalytic Models.

Ideological Models.

Feminist Models.

Women in Film

Cognitive Models.





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