Film as Film: Understanding and Judging Movies

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Da Capo Press, 1993 - Performing Arts - 198 pages
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Here at last is an introduction to film theory and its history without the jargon. Noted film scholar V. F. Perkins presents criteria for expanding our understanding and enjoyment of movies. He employs common sense words like balance, coherence, significance, and satisfaction to develop his insightful support of the subtle approach and of the unobtrusive director. Readers will learn why a scene from the humbler movie Carmen Jones is a deeper realization of filmmaking than the bravura lion sequence in the classic Battleship Potemkin. Along the way Perkins invites readers to re-experience with clarity, directness, and simplicity other famous scenes by directors like Hitchcock, Eisenstein, and Chaplin. Perkins examines the origins of movies and embraces their use of both realism and magic, their ability to record as well as to create. In the process he seeks to discover the synthesis between these opposing elements. With the delight of the fan and the perception of the critic, Perkins advances a film theory, based on the work of Bazin and other early film theorists, that is rich with suggestion for debate and further pursuit. Sit beside Perkins as he reacquaints you with cinema, heightens your awareness, deepens your pleasure, and increases your return every time you invest in a movie ticket.
 

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Contents

Preface
7
The Sks of the Pioneers
9
Minority Reports
28
Technology and Technique
40
Form and Discipline
59
The World and Its Image
71
HowIsWhat
116
Participant Observers
134
Direction and Authorship
158
The Limits of Criticism
187
Index
195
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About the author (1993)

V. F. Perkins is a founder-member of the editorial board of Movie, a screenwriter, film critic and lecturer in film studies at the University of Warwick, where he headed the Joint School of Film and Literature for ten years from its inception in 1979.

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