“More than half a century since its initial publication, this deceptively compact book remains among the most incisive analyses of the formal and perceptual dynamics of cinema. No one who cares about film can afford to remain ignorant of its insights and wisdom. As digital technology fundamentally alters motion pictures, the lessons of Film as Art commend themselves as excellent insurance against reinventing the wheel in the new media landscape and hailing it as progress.”—Edward Dimendberg author of Film Noir and the Spaces of Modernity “After more than eight decades, Rudolph Arnheim's small book of film theory remains one of the essential works in defining film art, understanding film less as reproducing the world than as opening up new possibilities for formal play and unexpected imagery. Anyone serious about film, whether scholar, filmmaker or simply a lover of cinema, must take Arnheim seriously.”—Tom Gunning, author of The Films of Fritz Lang and D.W. Griffith and the Origins of American Narrative Film “An aesthetic theory based on the formal ‘limitations’ of the medium, Arnheim’s Film as Art always provokes students in an age of few limits and less formality, and they argue and engage this classic text with unparalleled passion. Written in the wake of sound’s transformation of the cinema, Arnheim’s essays are not only central to understanding a major historical moment in theoretical debates about what constitutes the ‘essence’ of film, but also are a must read for anyone seeking a lucid, detailed, and rigorous argument about how works of art emerge from expressive constraint as much as expressive freedom.”—Vivian Sobchack, author of Carnal Thoughts
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Tracing the development of the Japanese cinema from 1896 (when the first Kinetoscope was imported) through the golden ages of film in Japan up to today, this work reveals the once flourishing film industry and the continuing unique art of the Japanese film. Now back in print with updated sections, major revaluations, a comprehensive international bibliography, and an exceptional collection of 168 stills ranging over eight decades, this book remains the unchallenged reference for all who seek a broad understanding of the aesthetic, historical, and economic elements of motion pictures from Japan.
For three decades, no American filmmaker has been as prolific—or as paradoxical—as Woody Allen. From Play It Again, Sam (1972) through Celebrity (1998) and Sweet and Lowdown (1999), Allen has produced an average of one film a year, yet in many of these films Allen reveals a progressively skeptical attitude toward both the value of art and the cultural contributions of artists. In examining Allen’s filmmaking career, The Reluctant Film Art of Woody Allen demonstrates that his movies often question whether the projected illusions of magicians/artists benefit audience or artists. Other Allen films dramatize the opposed conviction that the consoling, life-redeeming illusions of art are the best solution humanity has devised to the existential dilemma of being a death-foreseeing animal. Peter Bailey demonstrates how Allen’s films repeatedly revisit and reconfigure this tension between image and reality, art and life, fabrication and factuality, with each film reaching provisional resolutions that a subsequent movie will revise. Merging criticism and biography, Bailey identifies Allen's ambivalent views of the artistic enterprise as a key to understanding his entire filmmaking career. Because of its focus upon filmmaker Sandy Bates’s conflict between entertaining audiences and confronting them with bleak human actualities, Stardust Memories is a central focus of the book. Bailey’s examination of Allen’s art/life dialectic also draws from the off screen drama of Allen’s very public separation from Mia Farrow, and the book accordingly construes such post-scandal films as Bullets Over Broadway and Mighty Aphrodite as Allen’s oblique cinematic responses to that tabloid tempest. By illuminating the thematic conflict at the heart of Allen's work, Bailey seeks not only to clarify the aesthetic designs of individual Allen films but to demonstrate how his oeuvre enacts an ongoing debate the screenwriter/director has been conducting with himself between creating cinematic narratives affirming the saving powers of the human imagination and making films acknowledging the irresolvably dark truths of the human condition.
An anthology of essays exploring the relationship between film and art, within and across the domains of theory and practice, from the late nineteenth century to the present.
In the mid-1950s C.P. Snow began his campaign against the 'two cultures' - the debilitating divide, as he saw it, between traditional 'literary intellectual' culture, and the culture of the sciences, urging in its place a 'third culture' which would draw upon and integrate the resources of disciplines spanning the natural and social sciences, the arts and the humanities. Murray Smith argues that, with the ever-increasing influence of evolutionary theory and neuroscience, and the pervasive presence of digital technologies, Snow's challenge is more relevant than ever. Working out how the 'scientific' and everyday images of the world 'hang' together is no simple matter. In Film, Art, and the Third Culture, Smith explores this question in relation to the art, technology, and science of film in particular, and to the world of the arts and aesthetic activity more generally. In the first part of his book, Smith explores the general strategies and principles necessary to build a 'third cultural' or naturalized approach to film and art - one that roots itself in an appreciation of scientific knowledge and method. Smith then goes on to focus on the role of emotion in film and the other arts, as an extended experiment in the 'third cultural' integration of ideas on emotion spanning the arts, humanities and sciences. While acknowledging that not all of the questions we ask are scientific in nature, Smith contends that we cannot disregard the insights wrought by taking a naturalized approach to the aesthetics of film and the other arts.
This volume discusses modes of film-making that diverge from and oppose the mainstream. It treats artists' film conceptually in order to explore key categories that connect different works and film-makers: from framing to digital media, installation to interactivity, and point of view to sound.
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 of analytical skills that will deepen their understanding of any film, in any genre. Frame enlargements throughout the text enable students to view images taken directly from completed films, while an optional, text-specific tutorial CD-ROM helps clarify and reinforce specific concepts addressed in the text with the use of film clips. Building on these strengths, the ninth edition adds coverage of new technologies, updated examples, and references to the authors' acclaimed weblog to provide unparalleled currency and connect students with the world of cinema today.