Movies and Meaning : An Introduction to Film

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2004-01-01
  • Publisher: Allyn & Bacon
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This comprehensive introduction to film 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. Using clear, accessible, and jargon-free writing, this is the only introductory film text to examine the elements of film style and the viewer's contribution to the cinema experience. How do viewers interpret the effects filmmakers create? How do filmmakers anticipate, and build on, the likely ways viewers will react to certain kinds of stories and audio-visual designs? The text examines both how filmmakers create images and sounds and the mechanisms and processes by which viewers make sense of images and stories on screen. This approach helps students understand not only the basic concepts but also how their own reactions and opinions impact the overall film experience.

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 Digital Effects.
Visual Style and Design Quotations.

3. Production Design and Performance Style.
What a Production Designer Does.
Basic Tools of Production Design.
The Design Concept.
Production Design and Special Effects.

4. Editing: Making the Cut.
What Is Editing?
Functions of Editing.
The Principles of Continuity Editing.
Alternatives to Continuity Editing.

5. Sound Design.
Evolution of Film Sound.
Types of Sound.
Sound Design.

6. 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.

7. Modes of Screen Reality.
Fantasy and the Fantastic.
Cinematic Self-Reflexivity.

8. Hollywood International.
The Global Dominance of Hollywood.
International Influence of Hollywood Style.

9. The Cinema in an International Frame.
The International Auteur Cinema.
Cinema and Society: The New Wave Phenomenon.
Importance of the International Cinema.

10. Film Criticism and Interpretation.
Why Criticism Exists.
The Task of the Critic.
Modes of Criticism.
Creating Criticism.

11. Models of Film Theory.
Realist Models.
Auteurist Models.
Psychoanalytic Models.
Ideological Models.
Feminist Models.
Cognitive Models.



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