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"This is the film history book we've been waiting for."
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Beginning with precursors of what we call moving pictures, Wheeler Winston Dixon and Gwendolyn Audrey Foster lead a fast-paced tour through the invention of the kinetoscope, the introduction of sound and color between the two world wars, and ultimately the computer generated imagery of the present day. They detail significant periods in world cinema, including the early major industries in Europe, the dominance of the Hollywood studio system in the 1930s and 1940s, and the French New Wave of the 1960s. Special attention is also given to small independent efforts in developing nations and the corresponding more personal independent film movement that briefly flourished in the United States, the significant filmmakers of all nations, censorship and regulation and how they have affected production everywhere, and a wide range of studios and genres. Along the way, the authors take great care to incorporate the stories of women and other minority filmmakers who have often been overlooked in other texts.
Compact and easily readable, this is the best one-stop source for the history of world film available to students, teachers, and general audiences alike.
This excellent introduction stands out in a crowded field with its lively, accessible writing, broad coverage, and particular focus on traditionally marginalized figures in film history. Dixon (James Ryan Endowed Professor of Film Studies, Univ. of Nebraska-Lincoln; Film Talk: Directors at Work) and Foster (English, Univ. of Nebraska-Lincoln; Class-Passing: Social Mobility in Film and Popular Culture) discuss the technical innovations that moved the art form forward, and their lucid descriptions of often complicated concepts convey the excitement of innovation in mechanical as well as creative processes. The most striking aspect of the book is the coverage of women, African Americans, and Third World filmmakers, which strongly complements its solid coverage of American and European film. Illustrations abound, and even the best-versed cineaste will find new films to track down after reading the breezy, enthusiastic analysis in this book. Highly recommended for all collections, this text would also make an excellent textbook for introductory film-studies courses.
Glossary of Film Terms