One of the most thorough and detailed intro to film texts is FILM ART: An
INTRODUCTION, by David Bordwell & Kristin Thompson. As the title
indicates, they take a primarily aesthetic approach, with much attention
to narrative form and stylistic concerns such as mise-en-scene and
cinematography. It can be (at least has in my experience) actually
overwhelming for students, though, as Bordwell & Thompson use an
encyclopedic amount of films in their examples.
A couple of others that seem to be pretty good are FILM: An INTRODUCTION,
by William Phillips, and MOVIES and MEANING, by Stephen Prince. These are
both fairly new, in their first editions I believe (as opposed to FILM
ART's six editions).
Another intro text, one that I don't care for all that much, is
UNDERSTANDING MOVIES, by Louis Giannetti, which has also gone through
There are, of course, others, but these are some of the widest used and
(in the case of Phillips and Prince) newest.
University of Kansas
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