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June 1994


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Patrick B Bjork <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 2 Jun 1994 22:06:16 -0500
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On Thu, 2 Jun 1994, Robert Withers wrote:
> On Wed, 1 Jun 1994 22:23:40 -0500 Patrick B Bjork said:
> >On Thu, 2 Jun 1994, Leslie J wrote:
> >
> >> Can someone please suggest a book that would aid the non-academic but
> >> enthusiastic film-goer in gaining a more in-depth approach to watching
> >> films? Something like I.A. Richards "Practical Criticism" for movies would
> >> be good; it shouldn't be heavily theoretical and be fairly inexpensive.
> >>  =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
> >>
> >You might try an introductory text such as _Film Theory and Criticism_,
> >3rd Ed., Gerald Mast & Marshall Cohen, Eds. NY: Oxford UP, 1985.
> >
>       If that's not "heavily theoretical" I don't know what is.  And not
> inexpensive at over $20.  I mourn the demise of books such as Arthur Knight's
> "The Liveliest Art" in the Mentor Book edition that was up to $2.50 by 1979.
> Even if the stories in it were fifty percent apocryphal.  And of the
> anthologies by Lewis Jacobs and others that combined readable texts by
> critics and filmmakers.  All the "introductory" texts now are so relentlessly
> comprehensive, theoretical and academic (despite the benefits of such
> approaches) that I think they're not really accessible to the general reader
> who wants to read and learn something for pleasure.
>       A lively exception, though somewhat limited in scope, is Mark Crispin
> Miller's anthology, "Seeing Through Movies."  And of the "Introductions" I
> think Louis Giannetti's "Understanding Movies" is one of the most readable
> and entertaining, with lots of provocative stills, though it's got a textbook
> price and isn't so cheap.
>       But of course the Mast anthology is endlessly diverting, for those who
> want to work at it.
>                                                 Robert
I defer to your more experienced judgment, Robert; I have a colleague who
uses _Understanding Movies_ in his Freshman Composition Class, and
students find it fairly accessible. However, the poster did write
"in-depth" and "I.A. Richards" in nearly the same sentence, so I assumed
she could handle something, well. . . a little more in-depth. As to any
college text being inexpensive--forget it these days.