Film Studies: An Introduction

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Ed Sikov builds a step-by-step curriculum for the appreciation of all types of narrative cinema, detailing the essential elements of film form and systematically training the spectator to be an active reader and critic. Sikov primes the eye and mind in the special techniques of film analysis. His description of mise-en-scene helps readers grasp the significance of montage, which in turn reveals the importance of a director's use of camera movement. He treats a number of fundamental factors in filmmaking, including editing, composition, lighting, the use of color and sound, and narrative. Film Studies works with any screening list and can be used within courses on film history, film theory, or popular culture. Straightforward explanations of core critical concepts, practical advice, and suggested assignments on particular technical, visual, and aesthetic aspects further anchor the reader's understanding of the formal language and anatomy of film.

Columbia University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Journal of Social and Human Sciences
A valuable tool for the beginning film scholar.... [Sikov] establishes a firm foundation on which to build for further film analysis and appreciation.
Elisabeth Weis
Engaging and affordable, Sikov's Film Studies: An Introduction is an ideal and concise textbook for professors to supplement with articles of their own choosing in order to introduce students to various cultural and ideological approaches to film analysis.
George Butte
A wonderful introductory text. Sikov's Film Studies: An Introduction discusses film form in very clear and thoughtful ways while emphasizing the thematic and intellectual value of form, making an 'academic' topic deeper and more humane. Very highly recommended.
Patrick Keating
Film Studies: An Introduction is a superb, remarkably efficient textbook. One of the best prose stylists in film studies, Sikov is witty and precise, providing a perfect model for the student looking to write better papers.
[Sikov] has produced one of the most comprehensive and accessible texts of its type and it is likely to become a staple for introductory film studies curricula.
Film Studies: An Introduction offers the clearest and most concise introduction to the field.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780231142939
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Publication date: 11/24/2009
  • Series: Film and Culture Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 232
  • Sales rank: 88,312
  • Product dimensions: 16.30 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Ed Sikov has taught at Haverford College, Colorado College, and Columbia University. He is the author of seven books, including On Sunset Boulevard: The Life and Times of Billy Wilder, Dark Victory: The Life of Bette Davis, Mr. Strangelove: A Biography of Peter Sellers, and Laughing Hysterically: American Screen Comedy of the 1950s. He lives in New York City.

Columbia University Press

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Table of Contents

Preface: What This Book Is—and What It's NotIntroduction: Representation and Reality1. Mise-en-Scene: Within the Image What Is Mise-en-Scene? The Shot Subject-Camera Distance—Why It Matters Camera Angle Space and Time on Film Composition Study Guide: Analyzing the Shot by Writing about the Image 2. Mise-en-Scene: Camera Movement Mobile Framing Types of Camera Movement Editing within the Shot Space and Movement Study Guide: Analyzing Camera Movement3. Mise-en-Scene: Cinematography Motion Picture Photography Aspect Ratio: From 1:33 to Widescreen Aspect Ratio: Form and Meaning Lighting Three-Point Lighting Film Stocks: Super 8 to 70mm to Video Black, White, Gray, and Color A Word or Two about Lenses Study Guide: Analyzing Cinematography4. Editing: From Shot to Shot Transitions Montage The Kuleshov Experiment Continuity Editing The 180-Degree System Shot/Reverse-Shot Pattern Study Guide: Analyzing Shot-to-Shot Editing5. Sound A Very Short History of Film Sound Recording, Rerecording, Editing, and Mixing Analytical Categories of Film Sound Sound and Space Study Guide: Hearing Sound, Analyzing Sound6. Narrative: From Scene to Scene Narrative Structure Story and Plot Scenes and Sequences Transitions from Scene to Scene Character, Desire, and Conflict Analyzing Conflict Study Guide: Analyzing Scene-to-Scene Editing7. From Screenplay to Film Deeper into Narrative Structure Screenwriting: The Three Act Structure Segmentation: Form Segmentation: Meaning by A Segmentation of Inside Man Study Guide: Story Analysis and Segmentation8. Filmmakers Film—A Director's Art? Authorship The Auteur Theory The Producer's Role Teamwork Study Guide: The Problem of Attribution9. Performance Performance as an Element of Mise-en-Scene Acting Styles Stars and Character Actors Type and Stereotype Women as Types Acting in—and on—Film Publicity: Extra-Filmic Meaning Study Guide: Analyzing Acting10. Genre What Is a Genre? Conventions, Repetitions, and Variations A Brief Taxonomy of Two Film Genres—the Western and the Horror Film Genre: The Semantic/Syntactic Approach Film Noir: A Case Study Film Noir: A Brief History Study Guide: Genre Analysis for the Introductory Student11. Special Effects Beyond the Ordinary Optical and Mechanical Special Effects Computer-Generated Imagery (CGI) Study Guide: Effects and Meaning12. Putting It Together: A Model 8- to 10-Page Paper How This Chapter Works "Introducing Tyler," by Robert PaulsonGlossaryAcknowledgmentsIndex

Columbia University Press

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