How to Read a Film: The World of Movies, Media, Multimedia: Language, History, Theory

How to Read a Film The World of Movies Media Multimedia Language History Theory First published in this popular book has become the source on film and media Now James Monaco offers a revised and rewritten third edition incorporating every major aspect of this dynamic mediu

  • Title: How to Read a Film: The World of Movies, Media, Multimedia: Language, History, Theory
  • Author: James Monaco
  • ISBN: 9780195038699
  • Page: 175
  • Format: Paperback
  • First published in 1977, this popular book has become the source on film and media Now, James Monaco offers a revised and rewritten third edition incorporating every major aspect of this dynamic medium right up to the present Looking at film from many vantage points, How to Read a Film Movies, Media, Multimedia explores the medium as both art and craft, sensibility andFirst published in 1977, this popular book has become the source on film and media Now, James Monaco offers a revised and rewritten third edition incorporating every major aspect of this dynamic medium right up to the present Looking at film from many vantage points, How to Read a Film Movies, Media, Multimedia explores the medium as both art and craft, sensibility and science, tradition and technology After examining film s close relation to such other narrative media as the novel, painting, photography, television, and even music, Monaco discusses those elements necessary to understand how films convey meaning and, importantly, how we can best discern all that a film is attempting to communicate In a key departure from the book s previous editions, the new and still evolving digital context of film is now emphasized throughout How to Read a Film A new chapter on multimedia brings media criticism into the twenty first century with a thorough discussion of topics like virtual reality, cyberspace, and the proximity of both to film Monaco has likewise doubled the size and scope of his Film and Media A Chronology appendix The book also features a new introduction, an expanded bibliography, and hundreds of illustrative black and white film stills and diagrams It is a must for all film students, media buffs, and movie fans.

    260 Comment

    • Danny says:

      This book touches upon pretty much every topic within cinema, as we get history, technique, film theory and whatnot. It's something that probably makes this the must-read book that it is, but it's also what's stopping this from being the kind of insightful book I'd hoped to get. It's incredibly harsh - cause we're looking at one heavy read otherwise - but everything is pretty much quickly touched upon rather than actually examined. There's also the matter of it actually lacking quite a bit in th [...]

    • Nandakishore Varma says:

      Quite an exhaustive book on film theory. Worth reading and rereading for the aficionado and the student.

    • Emir says:

      Big qualification: I only read two chapters from this book. My chapter of interest was on semiotics ("The Language of Film: Signs and Syntax") since I used "How to Read a Film" as a reference for a paper I was writing on semiotics and motion design. In fact, Monaco's description of how semiotics can be investigated in film is astute and served as my primary reference. Monaco describes signifiers and signifieds, the trope, indexes, metonymy, and the gap that semiotic inquiry is trying to bridge b [...]

    • Dan Binns says:

      Whilst I still think Bordwell and Thompson's 'Film Art' remains the quintessential book on film technique, Monaco's work offers a counter-point in the form of a simply laid-out, very comprehensive and accessible book about how film works. The summaries of key film theories were particularly useful to me, but the rest of it is excellent.

    • Dylan Popowicz says:

      Published in The Sacramento Book Review (sacramentobookreview/musicSince the publication of its first edition in 1977, this book has been applauded-and rightly so. Monaco magically mingles art history, critical theory, and opinion on so many varieties of media (all within the focus of the single notion of “film”) that what looks like a text book in fact stands as a delightful read in itself. In delving into each facet of film study, it results in catering for all aspects of film interest, al [...]

    • Alex Cook says:

      Incredibly researched and theory presented expertly while technology and theory behind was elucidated and then illustrated with informative graphics. As someone studying film for the next three years I'm definitely going to be read it 3-5 more times as it has such as wealth of information that one has to revise and reprocess on a second or third reading as i often skimmed paragraphs, through this is a book that grabs your interest and those provide answers for your studies. To anyone studying a [...]

    • Vikram says:

      Level 1 Bible for all students of Cinema.Even for those who want to decipher hidden visual metaphors.Can lull one into believing they know all about Cinema having read this book.But, as the first line says LEVEL 1.

    • Jared says:

      If you are a beginner in the studies of film it is a great overview with many references that can point you on the way to further study. By the way I am a beginner.

    • Al Bità says:

      My rating for this work needs clarification. If you think this book will deal with the more popular appreciation of film (i.e. dealing with film stars, glitz and glamour, etc,) then one could rate this book one star only (i.e. you’ll be very much disappointed!). If, on the other hand, one were to duly note the sub-title of this fourth (completely revised and expanded) edition of a classic work (“Movies, Media and Beyond. Art, Technology, Language, History, Theory”) then you have in your ha [...]

    • DoctorM says:

      An excellent introduction to film and film theory. Monaco starts with both a brief history of film in the US and with a clear introduction to how film technically works. His application of critical theory is lucid and accessible. (Note: this book was my first introduction to many of the ideas in contemporary theory, long ago in my Lost Youth, and I remember the expositions fondly) Very much recommended for anyone beginning a study of how film works and how it works on its audience.

    • Meghan says:

      This book has so much information about film. The chapters are very long though, and its a bit hard to read. The author jumps from ideas to ideas and not always in chronological order. Many of its films of reference are French or older films from the 40's and 50's. It made me want to go see more older films. I had to read this book for my English class. I don't think I am going to sell it.

    • Marcus says:

      lol James Monaco thinks Crash is a good film

    • Ekin Hazal says:

      I would recommend this book to all cinema enthusiasts and wants to take their part in this sector to read and study on this book, carefully.

    • Kyle says:

      You know what you getting? You getting a textbook. But dang, a pretty sweet textbook, a pretty wise exam of some theoretical subject, or I should say theory for simplicity's sake, but "theory" will lock us in to some aesthetic, semiotic, semantic beeswax, so I'll leave it at subject. There's some charmless drudgery at the outset, clarifying some devices for understanding the power of whatnot (and charmless, I say, despite warnings that the drudgery is just various methodologies, opinions, skippa [...]

    • Mark Oppenlander says:

      I ran across this book in a used book store in Key West and thought it sounded interesting. It appears to have been intended to be used as a textbook for introductory film classes. As an amateur student of film, I thought it could be a fun read. Unfortunately, I think it's trying to do a little too much and in the process it dilutes its material more than I would have preferred.The book is divided into six major sections: "Film as an Art", "Technology: Image and Sound", "The Language of Film: Si [...]

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    • Sam Anderson says:

      I read this book outside of any class, just some background in reading film critique.The book covers a lot, and in general it was good enough to keep reading without much complaining, but it was seldom Good and rarely Great. The author does a solid job describing the technical parts of film and it's impact on film history. He then does admirably with an introduction to semiotics in chapter 3, but after that the book gets harder to recommend.The History of Film chapter has a lot to get through, s [...]

    • NJ Wong says:

      This is a very thick book, and it took me almost 4 months to complete it. However, I must say it is pretty comprehensive. I learnt a lot of things from this book, from the history of film, to technical stuff about film media and cameras, as well as to philosophical and literary aspects of film etc.Although I read the book version of this book, I think the contents of this book would be better presented as a multimedia e-book. Then, when the author describes certain filming techniques citing a pa [...]

    • jordan says:

      A solid overview of history, theory, and criticism, with bonus chapters on new forms of media and multimedia. You have to get used to his opinions on films and his snarky asides, some of which an editor should have flagged by now in the 4th edition. E.g "lor is a distinctly psychological phenomenon: one man's blue is another woman's green (but if you're gay, it may be teal)". A bit of slack considering he wrote the first edition in 1977, but I'm not sure I'm prepared to read his thoughts on quee [...]

    • Mohib Farhad says:

      one of the great book about film. in this book you can find little bit of something of everything about film. and thats why this a big book. little too much bookgood thing about this book: not detailed, but references from other book, not only understand film but also tv and print media. you will know the brife history of film and redio bad thing: not so much but can give some more detail about some important topic, sometime its less intaresting,didnt have to talk this much about analog system b [...]

    • Runa says:

      An excellent introduction to cinema and its jargon (which Monaco handles very well, by the way) - well-structured, comprehensive, and hugely benefiting from its little venture into semiotics. It hardly goes into detail about anything, though, and hardly *does* anything with the concepts it introduces; it gives you the ingredients without showing you how to actually prepare the dish. But that's not necessarily a bad thing.

    • Lena Nechet says:

      For the first ~300 pages I thought it was a wonderful book. Then, after the huge poorly structured chapter about ethics of film, which messy dates and titles with occasional remarks of random value had little to do with ethics, I changed my mind. Later I was tempted to prompt to the author to review his methods of reasoning, deduction and induction concepts in particular. The montage theory part was too short, but fine (I learned only one new fact, but I am thankful for it).

    • Autumn says:

      A very shallow overview of all aspects of film, television, radio, and internet. The "How to Read a Film" title was misleading. I can imagine this would be a good read for anyone in the entertainment industry, but I felt it didn't go far enough into the subjects I was interested in, and covered too much of what I care nothing about.

    • Jon says:

      A long, readable and fairly thorough intro to film studies. It is fairly programmatic, covering the history, technology and theory of film as well as long essays on how film relates to other forms of media and art.I would recommend to any aspiring film buffs, especially as an overview pointing the way to deeper reading.

    • Tommy says:

      I liked it. Incredibly interesting when talking about the development of film through history and the technical aspects of movie making. I felt that it got a little too dense when dealing with film theory and slowed the narrative. I was also intrigued by the section on the impact of media on society. I'd recommend.

    • p. tallon says:

      A bit of a museum piece at this point. Some added chapters on digital editing, but most of the books seems horribly out of date, which would not be so dire if it were not also fairly unreadable for undergrads (my projected readers).

    • Jeroen Berndsen says:

      I own a Dutch copy of this book but an older edition from 1984. It's a pretty good book for film students but when compared to Bordwell's books Film History and Film Art, How to Read a Film doesn't quite match up. But it's quite a good read anyway.

    • Tiah Keever says:

      Dry at times, but also entertaining, if you are really into cinema. Monaco seems to like many of the same movies as me, because clearly I have great taste in film*cry* I didn't ask to be this way:)

    • Shannon McCue says:

      i have an old used edition of this book, so it's a bit outdated, but if you like film theory

    • Justin says:

      Decent ideas in some of this.

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