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Film Art: An Introduction

4.02  ·  Rating Details ·  1,484 Ratings  ·  52 Reviews

Film is an art form with a language and an aesthetic all its own. Since 1979, David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson's Film Art has been the best-selling and widely respected introduction to the analysis of cinema.

Taking a skills-centered approach supported by a wide range of examples from various periods and countries, the authors strive to help students develop a core set

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Paperback, 544 pages
Published November 25th 2009 by McGraw-Hill Humanities/Social Sciences/Languages (first published 1979)
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(showing 1-30)
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Spike Gomes
Jan 02, 2016 Spike Gomes rated it it was amazing
Found this book in a pile of discarded books and picked it up because the cover was compelling, and I know nothing about the art and science of movie-making. I'm rather glad I did because this was an excellent introduction into the field, with a nice balance of both application and theory and wide range of content covered from mainstream Hollywood to obscure experimental films, and from silent classics to modern digitally recorded cinema.

Through reading this book I've discovered why modern movie
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Achie
Aug 10, 2008 Achie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Film Art was my first book on film studies. I was not yet an avid film students by then, but this book captured my interest so deep as then it made me impatiently waiting for my future film-study classes.

It's not a manual book of film techniques. Yet it does encompass that issues from an artsy point of view. This book discusses elements of films (e.g., shots, lighting, color, mood, tone, narrative, plots, acts, genres, hollywood era, and many more), precisely on how they constitue the overall l
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محمد فرد
Mar 04, 2016 محمد فرد rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
سلام.
کتاب خوبی بود. خوب به این معنی که تقریبا همون طور که خود کتاب ادعا کرده بود با دانش اندک سینمایی هم می شد باش ارتباط برقرار کرد و این به نظرم مطابق هدف کتاب بود و در نتیجه خوب بود.
و اینکه کتاب یه دانش پژوه حوزه ی سینمایی رو راه مینداخت و نثر خوبی هم داشت.
روند خوب و مثال هایی که اورده بود. همگی کمک می کرد تا مطالبش عمیق تر و بهتر توی ذهن جا بیافته.
بهش پنج ندادم چون توی توضیح سبک ها با اینکه گسترش خوبی داشت اما عمق مطلوب رو نداشت. البته کتاب گفته بود که یه در ورودی برای سینماست اما به نظرم می
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Nima Kohandani
Oct 03, 2014 Nima Kohandani rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really Helpful...
Jay Amari
Jan 02, 2014 Jay Amari rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Anyone with an interest in film or who likes to watch movies with an understanding of the processes that involve filmmaking, will get something from this excellent edition of a text book that has become the staple of film studies in a formal educational setting. Film Art: An Introduction (Eighth Edition) by David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson is an excellent updating of a great film resource text.

I was first introduced to first edition of the text way back in the late 1970s when it was smaller
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Montana
Mar 14, 2013 Montana rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Film Students
Recommended to Montana by: Film Studies Teacher
This book may be a text book but its really easy to read and I learned a lot from doing so. I am an arts student at university and this semester we are studying video art, this was the first book on our reading list and I almost read it cover to cover! I found it incredibly helpful to understand the basics on film art and how video is made. It was also a fantastic resource to look back on when I completed my assignments. If you are studying video or would like to gain a basic understanding for t ...more
Qt
Mar 20, 2008 Qt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, film
Yes, it's a textbook, but it was actually fun to read :-) Lots of illustrations too, and it enhanced my appreciation of movies :-)
Fiona
This book was the textbook for my film analysis class. I actually really enjoyed reading it. It was probably the most entertaining book I read all term. Of course, that's probably because I'm a film nerd and I think cinematography and lighting and camera positions and all that stuff is super interesting. Maybe not everyone finds that enjoyable... Either way, I know I'm going to refer back to this book throughout my life and probably my early film career.
Catherine Woodman
Oct 24, 2013 Catherine Woodman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have been reading this book out loud to my freshman in college, who as a result of the introductory course in film analysis that this book is the reading for has decided that film study is not for him--but I have to say that there is a lot to be learned from this book, and one of the great things about it is that it gives specific examples of various film techniques from movies that you can watch, and then read the explanation. The book includes examples from over 200 movies, so watching them ...more
Chuck Kollars
Oct 18, 2016 Chuck Kollars rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Reread (mainly because I was looking for something and the index is not all that comprehensive [and besides, what I was looking for turned out to be in a different book by the same author])

Comprehensive, un-stuffy and painless introduction to the world of films. All the various techniques and how they've been (maybe still are) used.

(note I read a _very_ early [possibly "obsolete"] edition of this book - I doubt it made any difference though, as while later editions seemingly expand the content
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Manolo Almagro
Sep 01, 2016 Manolo Almagro rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Muy ameno y claro. Me alegra que no haya un uso excesivo de tecnicismos, que no haría más que entorpecer el propósito de un libro de texto destinado para los más legos. Me ha servido para formalizar algunas ideas que entendía con bastante holgura y, claro está, para aprender otras muchas nuevas. Queda como tarea pendiente ir viendo algunas de las películas que se mencionan para ilustrar conceptos, aunque el libro hace un buen trabajo por sí mismo.
Alan
Feb 02, 2011 Alan rated it it was amazing
My favorite film intro book, use it for the Film History & Appreciation class. For something deeper, look to Bruce Kawin's book. But for a beautifully-written text to get students to understand the artistic and historic aspects of the art form, you couldn't ask for much more than Film Art, written by the cutest film historian couple out there, Bordwell & Thompson. Bordwell's blog as damned good too.
Alisha Brook
This textbook on film art isn't as comprehensive as some, but it is as the title suggests: an introduction.

It discusses elements of films such as shots, lighting, color, mood, tone, narrative, plots, acts, genres, hollywood era, etc.

It provides many colour images to assist with learning, and it is set out in clearly structured format which makes it very easy to read.

It has been useful in my studies.
Arta Barzanji
Jun 15, 2016 Arta Barzanji rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A clear must-read for every film buff. The book greatly elevates your understanding and accordingly your appreciation of film. It covers all the formal elements, narration, film genres and even has a brief outline of film history in the end. The text is very simple and straightforward, technical terms are all explained and it's totally understandable. In the end I can't think of a more simple yet comprehensive introduction to film!
Zaneta Padilla
Sep 09, 2015 Zaneta Padilla rated it it was amazing
For being a textbook, I really enjoyed reading this (minus the chapter on abstract and documentaries). It gave thorough analysis of movies with a thorough description of techniques used. It was incredibly informational, as any textbook should be, but was very visual with the wordage and read like a movie.
Henry Sturcke
Good overview, well-written. Analysis of films, many of them well-known to anyone interested in film, but also with a few "Haven't seen this, but now I'd like to check it out". Ample illustrations. For those who want to go more in-depth, there are references to blog entries. It's a textbook, not literature, but for what it is, it's very good.
Christina
Dec 09, 2012 Christina rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: college
Actually fairly interesring for a textbook. If you're a film student, this book will teach you a lot of the basic techniques and terminology to get you started. It doesn't teach you how to do things. Just concepts but it's still a good jumping off point. As far as textbooks go, I don't think you'll find one more interesting than one completely dedicated to movies.
Jessica
Jan 14, 2013 Jessica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Used this book for my film history course and loved it, although the Film History: An Introduction one was better. This one was still amazing, and I love reading in it. Will keep it just because it's really fun, even though I don't need it for the course anymore I can't part with it. Really interesting read.
Esther
Mar 24, 2009 Esther rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: film-lovers, animators, film-makers
Shelves: art, informational
I had to read this book when I attended Image and Media Technology at the Hogeschool voor de Kunsten Utrecht, and it taught me a lot about films, how they are made, what imaging can portray, etcetera. If you are a film lover and you feel you would like to get some background on it instead of just popping in a dvd, this is really something you should read!
André Vridstoft
Bordwell is a talented writer. Wether or not you agree with his theories, he is an interesting an important figure in film theory. I don't agree with all his obsevrations, but he does argue well for his theories.
Tiffany
Feb 13, 2008 Tiffany rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
good for students who need linear text to understand history and the cannon of film history
easy for teacher to organize their class when students are so inclined to even fall asleep on Citizen Kane... but hey, it's made 1941 and they prolly can make more captivating classics in 10 years
Kathryn
Jun 03, 2008 Kathryn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: students of introductory film studies
The book is very information dense. It is packed with references to films that should be well known to good students of film studies. Unfortunately, it is so packed with references and information that reading often becomes tedious.
Victoria
May 12, 2012 Victoria rated it liked it
Shelves: film-books
It can be long winded, and even dry at times, but a important book to have for anyone studying film.
It's not a book you can sit down and read for fun for it is more of textbook.


A book I will be keeping and referring back to throughout my film career.
Eric
My Mom's old Film Studies textbook from when she was in college at Brown... some parts were pretty basic, but others pointed out things I couldn't believe I hadn't noticed before, now that I've been made aware of them.
Marley
Aug 15, 2007 Marley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
gorgeous textbook, great design, and the co-authors are married and great to work with. The authors have a blog here: http://www.davidbordwell.net/blog/ lots of interesting film stuff.
I want to watch Buck Toothed Women now.
Jacob
Jul 04, 2010 Jacob rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Required reading for my Intro to Screen Analysis class. Extremely informative and a useful starting point for anyone looking to pursue a career in film.
Ryan Chapman
Apr 30, 2007 Ryan Chapman rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 101 Students
Shelves: nonfiction
A formalist, narrow-minded approach to cinema. Bordwell and Thompson actually believe in structuralism, which would be cute and nostalgic if they weren't taken so seriously by the academy.
Jona
Feb 27, 2008 Jona rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The best textbook on film form for the beginning or aspiring filmmaker. If someone wants to understand the basics of film language, this is the first book to read.
alonso ruvalcaba
no sé ni para qué le pongo "terminado" si es de esos libros que, eso sí sé, que se van a quedar en el buró toda la vida –doblados, manchados de vino, anotados, dudados, sobreescritos.

increíble.
Mark Glidden
Oct 08, 2015 Mark Glidden rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Dull and long winded. Had to force myself to wade through this book as though crossing a thick snow bed. Avoid like the plague.
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سایت فیلمسازی 1 6 Oct 29, 2011 06:17AM  
  • Film History: An Introduction
  • Film Theory and Criticism: Introductory Readings
  • How to Read a Film: The World of Movies, Media, Multimedia: Language, History, Theory
  • What is Cinema?: Volume I
  • A History of Narrative Film
  • Film Theory: An Introduction
  • Film As Film: Understanding And Judging Movies
  • Film Form: Essays in Film Theory
  • A Short Guide to Writing About Film
  • The Films in My Life
  • From Reverence to Rape: The Treatment of Women in the Movies
  • The Cinema Book
  • Understanding Movies
  • Theory of Film: The Redemption of Physical Reality
  • Cinema Studies: The Key Concepts (Key Concepts) (Routledge Key Guides)
  • The Oxford History of World Cinema
  • The Major Film Theories: An Introduction
  • Cassavetes on Cassavetes

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