Download Film Studies: The Basics (Film Studies) PDF

TitleFilm Studies: The Basics (Film Studies)
ISBN 139780203012031
CategoryArts - Film
Author
LanguageEnglish
File Size1.4 MB
Total Pages182
Table of Contents
                            BOOK COVER
HALF-TITLE
SERIES-TITLE
TITLE
COPYRIGHT
CONTENTS
LIST OF FIGURES
LIST OF BOXES
1 INTRODUCTION TO FILM STUDIES
2 THE LANGUAGE OF FILM
3 THE HISTORY OF FILM
4 THE PRODUCTION ANDEXHIBITION OF FILM
5 THE RECEPTION OF FILM
6 THE FUTURE OF FILM
GLOSSARY
BIBLIOGRAPHY
INDEX
                        
Document Text Contents
Page 2

Whether it’s The Matrix or A Fistful of Dollars that’s brought you
to film studies, this is a lively and thorough introduction to exactly
what you will be studying during your course.

Film Studies: The Basics will tell you all you need to know about:

• the movie industry, from Hollywood to Bollywood;
• who does what on a film set;
• the history, the technology and the art of cinema;
• theories of stardom, genre and film-making.

Including illustrations and examples from an international range of
films drawn from over a century of movie making and a glossary of
terms for ease of reference, Film Studies: The Basics is a must-have
guide for any film student or fan.

Amy VVillarejo won the 2005 Katherine Singer Kovacs Book Award
from the Society for Cinema and Media Studies for her book
Lesbian Rule: Cultural Criticism and the Value of Desire. She is
Associate Professor in Film at Cornell University, USA.

F I L M S T U D I E S

THE BASICS

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unions) from the practices and habits of reception, of watching or
making sense of them. To survey the field of production thus under-
stood (and the massive efforts of publicity coordinated to distribute
inordinately expensive films successfully), one needs some under-
standing of its key jobs and functions, learning (finally!) what a key
grip or Foley aartist does, and through what mechanisms their labor
combines into the final product. To survey the fields of distribution
and exhibition within this industrial context, one needs some
understanding of how tightly the corporate knot that binds them
has been historically tied, and how synergies function within global
technologies and entertainment behemoths.

“Production,” loosely speaking, might refer equally to the acts of
imagining, shooting, and editing a one-minute film-school project.
In this sense, production distinguishes one process from another. By
that logic, one might talk colloquially about the process of making
movies, followed by the process of watching (or responding to or
analyzing) movies, no matter the scale or the mode of production.
With the prospect of the commercial universal release (simultaneous
theatrical and DVD release) finally upon us with Steven Soderbergh’s
Bubble (2006), the ever-narrowing “distribution window” (that
distance between theater and home viewing) collapses (Risen 2005:
62). Not that the practices of distribution or exhibition have ever been
stable or unitary. From embassies to art houses, from pirated DVDs to
cheap VCDs, from production-financing deals for European television
rights to tie-in campaigns with McDonalds; the realm of making
movies depends entirely on the circuits they will travel once “in the
can.” Even the fate of your one-minute three-point lighting exer-
cise depends upon recruiting an audience willing to cheer you on.

That process of production understood in broad terms, moreover,
generally shakes out into three, whatever the context: pre-production,
production, and post-production The chapter’s first section, “Making
movies,” explains who does what in each of these, where you might
learn to do various tasks, what it takes to make a 16mm film or
digital film, and how film production is organized technically and
economically. The second section, “Studying film production,” then
introduces the reader to some of the many issues tackled by film
studies scholars who focus on production: industrial modes and
centers of production and their ideological effects, labor issues, the
institution of stardom, genre studies (focusing on those genres you

The production and exhibition of film82

Page 92

have already encountered, including westerns, melodramas, musicals,
horror films, and crime films), film censorship, authorship, techno-
logical innovation, the role of the state in film production, and the
realm of art film (schools, festivals, museum exhibitions). The third
section, “Contexts for studying production,” takes three examples
to illustrate how scholars generate and treat the problematics that
emerge from production. In that section I look at cinema practices
marginalized by academia such as gay porn; analyses of genre and
ways of thinking beyond genre; and, third, the ways in which distri-
bution can function as authorship. A brief and final note, “Studying
film exhibition,” links the practices of film production to the prac-
tices of film exhibition, examining in particular the building of a mass
audience. From film trains and Hale’s tours, through vaudeville and
nickelodeons, to movie palaces and suburban multiplexes, exhibition
practices shape audiences and our conceptions of how spectators
engage with films produced under many different models.

MAKING MOVIES

Anyone can make a film. Experimental filmmaker Maya Deren
knew it was possible to do so on the cheap as early as the 1940s:

Cameras do not make films; film-makers make films. Improve your
films not by adding more equipment and personnel but by using what
you have to the fullest capacity. The most important part of your
equipment is yourself: your mobile body, your imaginative mind, and
your freedom to use both.

(Renan 1967: 41)

With the independent film sector exploding in past years, it
becomes increasingly imaginable for any given person with a good
idea, more frequently a bad one, to undertake a film project. In the
United States, Michael Moore’s pit-bullish documentary Fahrenheit
9/11 (2004) and the cult breakout Mormon-inflected narrative film
Napoleon Dynamite (Jared Hess, 2004) both cost less than a half-
million dollars to make. Jonathan Caouette’s autobiographical film
Tarnation (2003), about his relationship with his mentally ill
mother, edited at home on his laptop, reputedly cost $218 (although

The production and exhibition of film 83

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Cinema SStudies:

The KKey CConcepts

Susan Hayward

Ranging from Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan to
Quentin Tarantino, from auteur theory to the Hollywood
blockbuster, Cinema Studies: The Key Concepts has firmly
established itself as the essential guide for anyone interested
in film.

Now fully revised and updated for its third edition, the book
includes new topical entries such as:

€ Action movies
€ Art direction
€ Blockbusters
€ Bollywood
€ Exploitation cinema
€ Female masquerade

Providing accessible and authoritative coverage of a compre-
hensive range of genres, movements, theories and production
terms, Cinema Studies: The Key Concepts is a must-have guide
to a fascinating area of study and arguably the greatest art
form of modern times.

0-415-36782-4

Available at all good bookshops
For ordering and further information please visit

www.routledge.com

Page 182

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