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Publisher's Summary

Succinct yet comprehensive, A Short History of Film provides an accessible overview of the major movements, directors, studios, and genres from the 1880s to the present. Beginning with precursors of what we call moving pictures, Wheeler Winston Dixon and Gwendolyn Audrey Foster lead a fast-paced tour through the invention of the kinetoscope, the introduction of sound and color between the two world wars, and ultimately the computer generated imagery of the present day. They detail significant periods in world cinema, including the early major industries in Europe, the dominance of the Hollywood studio system in the 1930s and 1940s, and the French New Wave of the 1960s. Special attention is also given to small independent efforts in developing nations and the corresponding more personal independent film movement that briefly flourished in the United States, the significant filmmakers of all nations, censorship and regulation and how they have affected production everywhere, and a wide range of studios and genres.This is the best one-stop source for the history of world film accessible to students, teachers, and general audiences alike.
©2008 Wheeler Winston Dixon and Gwendolyn Audrey Foster (P)2011 Redwood Audiobooks
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Critic Reviews

"This is the film history book we've been waiting for." (David Sterritt, Chairman, National Society of Film Critics)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Alan on 11-02-12

A fascinating textbook - (is that possible?)

I was afraid that this was going to be a very pedantic, professorial book about film criticism, but it's not like that. It does include all the different schools of thought about film - the auteur theory, mise en scene and all that - but it remains interesting throughout, grounded in facts and anecdotes and focusing on the greatest films of all time - I wound up with an enormous new list of "must see" movies, not because the authors said so, but they made them so interesting to me.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Mikkel Lodahl on 03-13-12

Nice overview; irritating narrator

What made the experience of listening to A Short History of Film the most enjoyable?

The comprehensive overview of movie history that never loses the thread.

What was one of the most memorable moments of A Short History of Film?

Realising how many classic films I want to find and watch, especially more with Alec Guiness in them.

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

Yes, but the narrator has a very annoying habit of making little pauses before emphasis and when titles and concepts are mentioned, which makes it sound as though the narrator is surprised by this every single. It gets very annoying, but does not stand in the way of the information - only of great enjoyment. There is also a slight tendency to a movie trailer-like sentimentality in the narration from time to time.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?


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3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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