How to Read a Film: Movies, Media, and Beyond

Author(s): James Monaco


Richard Gilman referred to How to Read a Film as simply "the best single work of its kind." And Janet Maslin in The New York Times Book Review marveled at James Monaco's ability to collect "an enormous amount of useful information and assemble it in an exhilaratingly simple and systematic way." Indeed, since its original publication in 1977, this hugely popular book has become the definitive source on film and media. Now, James Monaco offers a special anniversary edition of his classic work, featuring a new preface and several new sections, including an "Essential Library: One Hundred Books About Film and Media You Should Read" and "One Hundred Films You Should See." As in previous editions, Monaco once again looks at film from many vantage points, as both art and craft, sensibility and science, tradition and technology. After examining film's close relation to other narrative media such as the novel, painting, photography, television, and even music, the book discusses the elements necessary to understand how films convey meaning, and, more importantly, how we can best discern all that a film is attempting to communicate. In addition, Monaco stresses the ever-evolving digital context of film throughout--one of the new sections looks at the untrustworthy nature of digital images and sound--and his chapter on multimedia brings media criticism into the twenty-first century with a thorough discussion of topics like virtual reality, cyberspace, and the proximity of both to film. With hundreds of illustrative black-and-white film stills and diagrams, How to Read a Film is an indispensable addition to the library of everyone who loves the cinema and wants to understand it better.

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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
"Anyone who writes about film, who is interested in film seriously, just has to have [Monaco's book]."--Richard Roud, Director, New York Film Festival
"The best single work of its kind."--Richard Gilman
"An astute and thoroughgoing analysis....Monaco is cuts above the popular 'criticism' of Reed, Kael, et al. He is lucid and sophisticated."--Publishers Weekly

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. He lives and works in the New York City area.

INTRODUCTION; 1. FILM AS ART: The nature of Art, Ways of Looking at Art, Film, Recording, and the Other Arts, The Structure of Art; 2. TECHNOLOGY: IMAGE AND SOUND: Art and Technology, The Lens, The Camera, The Filmstock, The Soundtrack, Post-Production, Videon and Film, Projection; 3. THE LANGUAGE OF FILM: SIGNS AND SYNTAX: Signs, syntax; 4. THE SHAPE OF FILM HISTORY: Movies/Film/Cinema, "Movies": Economics, "Film": Politics, "Cinema": Aesthetics; 5. FILM THEORY: FORM AND FUNCTION: The Critis, The Poet and the Philosopher: Lindsay and Munsterberg, Expressionism and Realism: Arnheim and Kracauer, Montage: Pudovkin, Eisenstein, Balzacs, and Formalism, Mise en Scene: Neorealism, Bazin, and Godard, Film Speaks and Acts: Metz and Contemporary Theory; 6. MEDIA: IN THE MIDDLE OF THINGS: Community, Print and Electronic Media, Radio and Records, Television and Video; 7. MULTIMEDIA: THE DIGITAL REVOLUTION: The Digital Revolution, The Myth of Multimedia, The Myth of Virtual Reality, The Myth of Cyberspace, "What Is to be Done"; FILM AND MEDIA: A CHRONOLOGY - READING ABOUT FILM AND MEDIA - INDEX

General Fields

  • : 9780195321050
  • : Oxford University Press, Incorporated
  • : Oxford University Press, Incorporated
  • : 1.072
  • : May 2009
  • : 234mm X 164mm X 33mm
  • : United States
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : James Monaco
  • : Paperback
  • : 4th Revised edition
  • : very good
  • : 730
  • : 350 halftones, 75 line illustrations