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In what ways do films influence and interact with society? What social forces determine the kinds of movies that get made? How do movies reinforce—and sometimes overturn—social norms? As societies evolve, do the films that were once considered ‘great’ slip into obscurity? Which ones? Why? These questions, and many others like them, represent the mainstream of scholarly film studies today. In Engaging Cinema, Bill Nichols offers the first book for introductory film students that tackles these topics head-on. Published in a handy 'trade paperback' format, Engaging Cinema is inexpensive and utterly unique in the field—a perfect complement to or replacement for standard film texts.
Thrillers, tear jerkers, horror movies, melodramas--like so many movie terms, these genre designations immediately evoke characteristic kinds of emotional response. Yet emotion is a subject that film and literary theory have traditionally dealt with in only the most impressionistic and tangential fashion. Engaging Characters presents a precise discussion of the varieties of emotional response to films, integrating them into a larger theory of our engagement (or "identification") with characters in both cinematic and literary fictions. Films and filmmakers discussed include The Accused; Hitchcock (including detailed analyses of The Man Who Knew Too Much [1956] and Saboteur); Godard; Ruiz; Buñuel's That Obscure Object of Desire; Dovzhenko's Arsenal and Preminger's Daisy Kenyon; Bresson's L'Argent; Eisenstein's Strike; and Melville's Le Doulos.
"Engaging Film Criticism" examines recent American cinema in relationship to its -imaginative intertexts-, films from earlier decades that engage similar political and cultural themes. This historical encounter provides an unexpected and exciting way of reading popular contemporary films. Eclectic pairings include the Schwarzenegger action film "True Lies" with the Hitchcock classic "North by Northwest," as well as the lampooned Will Smith comedy "Wild, Wild West" with Buster Keaton's silent feature "The General." Using a theoretically and historically informed brand of criticism, "Engaging Film Criticism" suggests that today's Hollywood cinema is every bit as worthy of study as the classics."
Succinct, lively, and affordable, ESSENTIAL CINEMA: AN INTRODUCTION TO FILM ANALYSIS vividly illustrates principles in action as it helps you develop effective skills in close analysis. The book is packed with frame captures you can readily relate to, and it also features interviews with film practitioners throughout, giving you insight into real-world practice. In addition, unique screening questions at the end of each chapter help you apply chapter concepts to any film you watch, while the running glossary and end-of-text illustrated glossary offer easy access to full explanations of concepts. Important Notice: Media content referenced within the product description or the product text may not be available in the ebook version.
This new edition of Bill Nichols’s bestselling text provides an up-to-date introduction to the most important issues in documentary history and criticism. Designed for students in any field that makes use of visual evidence and persuasive strategies, Introduction to Documentary identifies the distinguishing qualities of documentary and teaches the viewer how to read documentary film. Each chapter takes up a discrete question, from "How did documentary filmmaking get started?" to "Why are ethical issues central to documentary filmmaking?" Carefully revised to take account of new work and trends, this volume includes information on more than 100 documentaries released since the first edition, an expanded treatment of the six documentary modes, new still images, and a greatly expanded list of distributors.
Since its inception the world of cinema has embraced the image of the child and both extended and challenged its representations. Vicky Lebeau explores the complex and ongoing adventure of childhood on screen and examines how the child in film has been used to embody the aspirations and anxieties of modern life. Moving from early to contemporary cinema – a process that includes discussions of films such as Victorian ‘Child Pictures’, The Spirit of the Beehive, L’Enfant sauvage, 400 Blows, Lolita, The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser, Tarnationand The Woodsman– she uncovers the compulsion of film-makers to visualize the child and their need to use childhood as a way of reflecting on sexuality, language, death and difference. By bringing together childhood and cinema as two institutions of modern culture, this book ultimately uses the figure of the child – as image, as narrative, and as myth – to reflect on the form and significance of cinema itself. Thought-provoking and engaging, Childhood and Cinemais an original and challenging contribution to studies in childhood and visual culture that will be of interest to readers in the fields of literature, film and cultural studies.
Since 1995 there has been a widespread return of commitment to French cinema taking it to a level unmatched since the heady days following 1968. But this new wave of political film is very different and urgently calls out for an analysis that will account for its development, its formal characteristics and its originality. This is what this book provides. It engages with leading directors such as Cantet, Tavernier, Dumont, Kassovitz, Zonca and Guédiguian, takes in a range of less well known but important figures and strays across the Belgian border to engage with the seminal work of the Dardenne brothers. It shows how the works discussed are helping to reinvent political cinema by finding stylistic and narrative strategies adequate to the contemporary context.

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