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Understanding Movies: The Art and History of Film (The Modern Scholar)
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Understanding Movies: The Art and History of Film (The Modern Scholar)

3.63  ·  Rating Details ·  87 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
14 lectures on 7 compact discs

Why does the cinema have the power to move the heart, stimulate the mind, and dazzle the imagination? How did the art of film develop from its origins to the present day? This course covers the history and aesthetics of the movies. It traces the experiments and innovations that gave rise to the modern cinema, developing a vocabulary that helps
Audio CD
Published by Recorded Books (first published 2008)
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Oct 23, 2010 Laurel rated it really liked it
As a young teen, I first saw the movie A Room with A View in an old town hall theater built in the 1880's. It changed how I viewed film. It was the first time I realized that movies were not just about entertainment, but about art as well. I became intrigued by the subtleties of cinematography, editing, direction, costumes and high quality acting. I started watching old, classic black and white movies like Citizen Kane, and was particularly intrigued by foreign and independent film. I even took ...more
Nov 26, 2009 John rated it really liked it
Listening to this 14-lecture course is a worthy substitute for attending a film class at a good college. After presenting a bit of film theory and practice, Shargel hits the usual highlights of Western cinema, including the German expressionists, Italian neorealists, and the French new wave. He focuses on representative movies from Stagecoach to Persepolis, and directors from D. W. Griffith to Clint Eastwood. He touches briefly on "gender" and "race", meaning movies by women and blacks. Shargel ...more
Feb 08, 2016 Tim rated it it was ok
The Professor was good enough, I suppose, it's just that the information he presented was too basic for me, as I already have considerable knowledge of film history and the great directors, etc. (not trying to brag here, just saying that this would probably work better for someone who is more of a beginner when it comes to learning about films). Since each lecture is only 30 minutes long, he is only really able to touch lightly upon some quintessential films of each of the major eras and genres ...more
Jul 28, 2013 Alex rated it it was ok
A couple things would make this lecture series significantly better.

Sound Editors should have been used to clip out unnatural pauses and to clip the segments at better locations. Also, the omnipresent swallowing and drinking should be clipped out. Or get a better mic that clips that off for you.

Also, the lecturer's unvarnished loathing of blockbusters bordered on offensive. If you hate Star Wars and what it stands for, cover a blockbuster that 1.) you've given adequate scholarly attention to ana
Sep 01, 2011 Andy rated it liked it
With only seven discs, Shargel doesn't have much time to cover the vastness of film history, but he barely covers international film at all. If that's your focus, then call it "The Art and History of American Film." Shargel covers the larger trends (he does mention a few international trends, such as the French New Wave and German Expressionism), yet spends an inordinate amount of time on Clint Eastwood as a director and the "violence" in the Star Wars and Indiana Jones movies. Really? Give me a ...more
Jeroen Berndsen
Aug 14, 2012 Jeroen Berndsen rated it really liked it
I've listened to these lectures between two and three times. Besides being very knowleadgeable, Shargel has a pretty good speaking voice and a pleasant talking speed for listening to. While not offering a broad history of film (this cannot be done in this timeframe), Shargel does offer a very good introduction to understanding the history of cinema and understanding and appreciating films in general. This makes it a very appealing listen for newcomers, but there is also enough less known materia ...more
Nadine Al lahham
Jul 10, 2013 Nadine Al lahham rated it really liked it
In many fields, we need a book that can be the key to the general understanding of this field where we can boost our interest for further information on cinema. This book is the real key to understand the general history of cinema.

Brief, academic, informative, and filled with references of books, links, and movies. What more can you ask for?
Mar 23, 2009 Lauri rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am really enjoying listening to this college professor's lectures on film. I keep a pad and pen in the car to jot down movies to see when I get to a red light. The list includes some silent films, a few black and whites, a Hitchcock or two and some I need to see with new eyes. I will happily share the list if requested.
Mar 29, 2013 Brian rated it really liked it
The professor clearly showed his love of movies and its history. Telling a story visually is not easy and it was nice to hear the background; the variety; and the enjoyment of movies. Well worth the time.
Louise Tripp
Jul 20, 2013 Louise Tripp rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobooks
This audiobook got me excited again about movies, cinema history and learning more about those things.
Nov 18, 2009 Paulette rated it it was amazing
Needed a good cd set for my trip to Bemidji this weekend.

Interesting lectures. From silent movies to blockbusters.
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