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An introductory guide to research in film and media arts topics.
Last Updated: Jun 17, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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Popular Introductory Textbooks for Film Studies

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Film Art - David Bordwell; Kristin Thompson
ISBN: 0073535109
Publication Date: 2012-07-06
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 most widely respected introduction to the analysis of cinema. Taking a skills-centered approach supported by examples from many periods and countries, the authors help students develop a core set of analytical skills that will enrich their understanding of any film, in any genre. In-depth examples deepen students’ appreciation for how creative choices by filmmakers affect what viewers experience and how they respond. Film Art is generously illustrated with more than 1,000 frame enlargements taken directly from completed films, providing concrete illustrations of key concepts. Along with updated examples and expanded coverage of digital filmmaking, the tenth edition also offers Connect for Film Art, a digital solution that includes multimedia tutorials along with web-based assignment and assessment tools.

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Film History - Kristin Thompson; David Bordwell
ISBN: 0073386138
Publication Date: 2009-02-17
Written by two of the leading scholars in film studies, Film History: An Introduction is a comprehensive, global survey of the medium that covers the development of every genre in film, from drama and comedy to documentary and experimental. As with the authors' bestselling Film Art: An Introduction (now in its eighth edition), concepts and events are illustrated with frame enlargements taken from the original sources, giving students more realistic points of reference than competing books that rely on publicity stills. The third edition of Film History is thoroughly updated and includes the first comprehensive overviews of the impact of globalization and digital technology on the cinema. Any serious film scholar--professor, undergraduate, or graduate student--will want to read and keep Film History. Visit the authorss blog at

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Understanding Movies - Louis Giannetti
ISBN: 0205856160
Publication Date: 2013-06-26
A readable, accessible introduction to film   Understanding Movies provides valuable insight into how movies communicate and convey meaning to their audiences through a unique network of language systems and techniques. In a readable, accessible, and sometimes humorous manner, Understanding Movies engages students in the fascinating language of film and helps further their appreciation and understanding of why and how movie watchers respond as they do to different films.   Organized around elements of film, the thirteenth edition of this market leading text provides students with a new way of looking at films that are familiar to them through contemporary coverage and a visually engaging presentation.   Learning Goals Upon completing this book, readers will be able to: Understand film as an industry Discuss the impact of technology on the film industry

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Film - Maria Pramaggiore; Tom Wallis
ISBN: 0205770770
Publication Date: 2011-02-17
Film: A Critical Introductionprovides readers with the skills needed to successfully critique and analyze film and teaches  strategies for translating ideas about film into written criticism and analysis.Intricate discussions of the current issues in film theory, from sound production to documentaries, keep readers’ perspectives on film fresh and informed. Part I introduces readers to the importance of film analysis, offering helpful strategies for discerning the way films produce meaning. Part II examines the fundamental elements of film, including narrative form, mise en scène, cinematography, editing, and sound, and shows how these concepts can be used to interpret films. Part III frames the debates around ideological criticism, national and transnational cinema, and genre and auteur theory that animate contemporary film scholarship.

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Looking at Movies - Richard Barsam; Dave Monahan
ISBN: 0393913023
Publication Date: 2012-10-09
Looking at Movies is the most effective introduction to film analysis available. From its very first chapter, Looking at Movies provides students with the tools they need to become perceptive viewers of film. The Fourth Edition is not only more comprehensive, but also more accessible and sophisticated in its integration of media.

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Movies and Meaning - Stephen R. Prince
ISBN: 020521102X
Publication Date: 2012-01-26
Updated in a new 6th edition, Movies and Meaning is a comprehensive introduction to the film industry that focuses on three topics: how movies express meanings, how viewers understand those meanings, and how cinema functions globally as both an art and a business. It examines both how filmmakers create images and sounds and the mechanisms and processes by which viewers make sense of images and stories on screen.

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The Film Experience - Timothy Corrigan; Patricia White
ISBN: 9780312681708
Publication Date: 2012-01-03
The Film Experience is a comprehensive introduction to film that recognizes students as movie fans while surpassing all other texts in helping them understand the art form’s full scope. Noted scholars and teachers Tim Corrigan and Patricia White capture the complete film experience, situating their strong coverage of the medium’s formal elements within the larger cultural contexts that inform the ways we all watch film—from economics and exhibition to marketing and the star system. A host of learning tools gives students the support they need to make the transition from movie fan to critical viewer. Now with a sharper focus that highlights the essential formal and cultural concepts of cinema, and a powerful new suite of video and media, The Film Experience is the consummate introductory film text. Read the preface.

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Resources to support the Making Documentaries "Urban Archaeology" assignment.
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A guide to support students in FMA 3773: Fundraising for Independent Media
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History of Narrative Cinema
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Introductory guide to conducting historical research on narrative film.
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