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The Language of Film


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Table of Contents

Introduction Chapter 1: Semiotics: Images; The Visual Mind; Reading the Signs; Making Meaning; Codes and Filters; Case Study: Seven; Chapter Summary Chapter 2: Narrative: Theories of Storytelling; Structuralism; Theories of Structure; Genette's Narrative; Discourse; Music; Short Film and Narrative; Case Study: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty; Chapter Summary Chapter 3: Intertextuality: Text; Quotation; Allusion; Cult Film; Genre; Case Study: Citizen Kane; Chapter Summary Chapter 4: Ideology: Ideological Analysis; Realism; Ideology and Genre; Case Study: Dead Man's Shoes; Chapter Summary Chapter 5: Frames and Images: The Shot; Distance, Height and Framing; Shot Distances; Mise en Scene; The Mobile Camera Frame; Time and the Long Take; Case Study: Hero; Chapter Summary Chapter 6: Sound: Film: An Audiovisual Medium; Sound Properties; Diegetic and Non-diegetic Sound; Offscreen Space and Audio; The Voice; Music; Case Study: Berberian Sound Studio; Chapter Summary Chapter 7: Constructing Meaning: Continuity Editing; Discontinuity Editing; Montage; Pacing; Case Study: Psycho; Chapter Summary Conclusion; Film Language Glossary; Index; Acknowledgements and Credits

Promotional Information

Beautifully illustrated with stills from feature films and short films, The Language of Film explores the means by which film communicates meaning to its audience.

About the Author

Robert Edgar is a Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing and Film and Television Production at York St John University, UK. John Marland is a Senior Lecturer in Film and Television Production and English Literature at York St John University, UK. Steven Rawle is a Senior Lecturer in Film and Television Production at York St John University, UK.


The Language of Film is both a passionate and instructive book that illuminates the reader with the pleasures associated with the discovery of film theory, history and aesthetics. The essence of the book will awaken the desire to transform an understanding of these primary film elements into practice. * Richard Litvin, Undergraduate Film & TV, Tisch School of the Arts, New York University, USA *
This exploratory reading is notably succinct, informative and moreover, digestible from a beginner's perspective. * Adrian Beasley, London Metropolitan University, UK *
I like the idea of having a text for this class that isn't just about the technical aspects of what a camera is and how to use it; and I really appreciate the easy to read layout and and small bites of information. * Christine Dehne , Manhattanville, USA *
An excellent book - relevant and interesting. Written in a clear manner. The case studies make the reading more enjoyable. Great style, clear format - very well presented. * Donna Stephens, Plymouth College of Art, UK *
An extremely enjoyable and engaging read ... For novice film-makers complex theory is made accessible in bite-sized pieces, supported by interesting case studies and 'asides' of film fact/history. * Elaine Drainville, University of Sunderland, UK *
This book provides the perfect blend between linguistic theory and visual entertainment. With its multitude of examples this edition presents core aspects of film analysis in an engaging and fun way. * Sonja Molnar, University of Salzburg, Austria *
A good basic text, covering simple theoretical aspects of film in relation to practice. Used in classes and on reading list for the first project in Year 1. Useful as introduction to the relationship between theory and practice. * Liam Wells, Norwich university College of the Arts, UK *
Tastefully done, and well illustrated to highlight the points it makes ... a healthy guide to students looking for an introduction to the art of film. * Meraj Ahmed Mubarki, Maulana Azad National Urdu University, India *
Very good text and one of the best I have read on this subject. * Mikael Sorknaes, Business Academy Southwest, Denmark *
An excellent book, brilliant resource, perfect layout. * Neil Smith, York College, UK *
An interesting and contemporary look at cinema with a clear break down of topics and themes. I structured my classes around many of the chapter headings. * Nicole Antebi, California State University-Monterey Bay, USA *

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