Film Art

David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson
McGraw-Hill Education. UK. 2003.
7th Edition.

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Since1979 David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson's Film Art has been the most respected introduction to the analysis of cinema. (The 6th edition sold in excess of 4000 copies in the UK in 2002.)

Film Art: An Introduction.They emphasize the study of complete films, rather than excerpts, with a captivating approach that examines how films are created, how an entire film functions, and how the art of film has developed through time.

Film Art was also the first film text to include frame enlargements rather than publicity stills, so what you see is the image that actually appears on the screen. Every image (and there are hundreds of them) in this text is taken directly from the final cut of the film. 

I like the way they clearly explain such trickery aspects of film analysis as diagetic sound or mise-en-scene using examples from classic or well-known films.

It's a must-have text for film students but anyone with more than a superficial interest in the subject should have a copy.

The 7th edition:

  • Shows how Computer Generated Imagery (CGI) brought to life Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
  • Four-colour illustrations throughout 
  • A free Film Viewer’s Guide with every copy of the text. This booklet offers important tips on film viewing and analysis
  • And an entirely new section on Hong Kong cinema. 


Nigel Watson
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