My perspective on the film textbook discussion:
While I often use portions of FILM ART, I've never adopted it. Despite some reservations I have used Giannetti in the past. When I myself was a college sophomore I took an English Dept film course that used Giannetti and a RTVFilm course that assigned Bordwell & Thompson. At that time (both were in 2nd edition, I think), I drank in and retained almost everything from the Giannetti book -- I wanted to see all the films. Very little from FILM ART sunk in (Buster Keaton was a great director because his films had plot structure).
I have adopted the more recent Routlege text by Jill Nelmes, INTRODUCTION TO FILM STUDIES, but probably will not use it again because none of the glaring errors and sloppy parts were fixed in the 2nd edition. Too bad, because the book is organized in the way I like (industry, form, national cinemas, gender, documentary, animation, spectatorship; specific case studies).
Philips, Kolker, Prince remain good options.
How's about best film history text book solutions?
Now that I teach a semester on 1895-1945, without a sequel, David Cook, etc don't work so well. Are there some good combinations of texts that well and that do not force students to buy a weighty tome like T&B or Cook?
I'm considering a semester in which we read Cynthia Erb's TRACKING KING KONG, Andrew Bergman's WE'RE IN THE MONEY, and some other readings on early cinema and 40s films. But what I really need is a publisher who will sell my students the first half of Cook or the first third of Thompson & Bordwell's FILM HISTORY.
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