The Story of Film

Front Cover
Pavilion, 2006 - Motion pictures - 512 pages
9 Reviews

'The Story of Film' is the most accessible and compelling history of the medium yet published. Film critic, producer and presenter, Mark Cousins shows how film-makers are influenced both by the historical events of their times, and by each other. He demonstrates, for example, how Douglas Sirk’s Hollywood melodramas of the 1950s influenced Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s despairing visions of 1970s Germany; and how George Lucas’ Star Wars epics grew out of Akira Kurosawa’s The Hidden Fortress.


'The Story of Film' is divided into three main epochs: Silent (1885–1928), Sound (1928–1990) and Digitial (1990-Present), and within this structure films are discussed within chapters reflecting both the stylistic concerns of the film-makers and the political and social themes of the time. Film is an international medium, so as well as covering the great American films and film-makers, the book explores cinema in Europe, Africa, Asia, Australasia and South America, and shows how cinematic ideas and techniques cross national boundaries. Avoiding jargon and obscure critical theory, the author constantly places himself in the role of the moviegoer watching a film, and asks: ‘How does a scene or a story affect us, and why?’ In so doing he gets to the heart of cinematic technique, explaining how film-makers use lighting, framing, focal length and editing to create their effects. Clearly written, and illustrated with over 400 stills, including numerous sequences explaining how scenes work, "The Story of Film" is essential reading for both film students and the general moviegoer.

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Review: The Story of Film

User Review  - Goodreads

Deep and oh so thorough. I made the mistake of reading this *after* watching the 15 hour documentary which made much of it redundant to me. It's well done for what it is but I personally prefer seeing the visuals as I learn about these films. Still enjoyed it greatly. Read full review

Review: The Story of Film

User Review  - Goodreads

This is a very well written jargon-free history of cinema. Readers interested in knowing about the finer aspects of film making will find it very enjoyable. A must read for all the serious lovers of ... Read full review

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