Movies and Meaning: An Introduction to Film (4th Edition)

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9780205480777: Movies and Meaning: An Introduction to Film (4th Edition)
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This comprehensive introduction to the film industry 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. Movies and Meaning examines both how filmmakers create images and sounds and the mechanisms and processes by which viewers make sense of images and stories on screen. This approach helps readers understand not only the basic concepts but also how their own reactions and opinions impact the overall film experience.

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This comprehensive introduction to film 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.

Using clear, accessible, and jargon-free writing, this is the only introductory film text to examine the elements of film style and the viewer's contribution to the cinema experience. How do viewers interpret the effects filmmakers create? How do filmmakers anticipate, and build on, the likely ways viewers will react to certain kinds of stories and audio-visual designs? The text examines both how filmmakers create images and sounds, and the mechanisms and processes by which viewers make sense of images and stories on screen. This approach helps students understand not only the basic concepts but also how their own reactions and opinions impact the overall film experience.


New to the Fourth Edition

  • Includes a new chapter on Cinema in Multiple Contexts to provide in-depth coverage of the various modes of filmmaking, including animation, documentary, and independent and international film as well as a discussion of diverse filmmakers (i.e. women in film and African American film).
  • Updated film examples and case studies throughout the text, explaining terms and concepts by using examples film students know, including Sin City, Fahrenheit 911, The Passion of the Christ, and Capturing the Friedmans.
  • Offers expanded coverage of film genres, including science fiction, the war film, and film noir.
  • Discusses hand-held camerawork, Steadicam, digital intermediates, the role of sound in contemporary film, and cinema in the DVD era to provide students with up-to-date coverage of new technologies and their impact on filmmaking.
  • Provides an updated discussion of blockbusters, the film industry, and current box office trends to provide a more timely view of the business of film.


Praise for Movies and Meaning

“I think Movies and Meaning is still the best all-around introductory film text on the market today. I will continue to use it with pleasure.” ~Thomas Sobchack, University of Utah

“This text is user friendly in its size and weight, relatively compact, and manageable to transport and read. It has nice integration of photos with the text; overall the layout is inviting, engaging, dynamic. The writing is generally clear, accessible yet challenging. And the book covers most of what I consider to be important for students to successfully complete the course.” ~David Laderman, College of San Mateo

“This book has very good coverage of the topics, and it is well written. It is also organized well, with the earlier chapters supporting the material in later chapters about criticism and theory. The chapters on the studio system and how Hollywood influences and is influenced by international cinema are also very good.” ~Jay Cofield, University of Montevallo

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