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If you want to explore the world of cinema, this is as good an atlas as you can have. Like any atlas, it's an overview—you'll have to look elsewhere for topographic maps and street-level views of the Czech New Wave, Cinema Novo, French Poetic Realism or whatever happens to catch your eye—but it grounds every movement in the history of both its national cinema and the historical and technological development of film as a whole, giving you a practical sense of awareness in the great filmic scheme
This was my primary reference for film courses when I attended Marquette U. back in the mists of time. I had two main film professors there. One, James Arnold, was outstanding: a published scholar in the field and a wonderful, personable guy. The other, whose name I can't remember and wouldn't mention if I did, was a true idiot who seemed to be going senile and knew nothing about film aesthetics or style or philosophy or history and whose only criterion of film quality was if a film addressed "s...
This book, written in 1981, represents the “state of the art” of film studies for the previous generation. As such, it is mostly of interest to people wanting to understand the flawed history of academic approaches to cinema. Much of what it asserts has been challenged by more recent work, and where it hasn’t, there is probably reason to reexamine and reconsider in the near future. Cook’s premise is where the problems begin. Cook believes that cinema is “a technological art,” and that this someh...
U originalnom naslovu Istorija narativnog filma, fantastične naracije. Možda ponekad vremenski nelinearnog redosleda ispričanih priča o istoriji filma, ali logički raspoređenih tako da se veoma lako prati nit istorijska nit razvoja u različitim prostornim kontekstima. Summa: jako dobro napisano, tako da drži pažnju, moć reči koja navodi na, rekao bih, ispravan odabir filmova koje treba odgledati, ako ko nema ambiciju da ih odgleda sve.
Cook concludes by saying that we should understand old films for the achievements they are within technological capacity at the time of production. As I read an edition from from 1989-90, the same goes for this book as I feel it leaves out issues of race and gender that would not be possible today.
More like an encyclopedia with some narrative. It's mostly namedropping, with too much weight given to the concept of nations and national cinema. But at certain points (the beginnings of film, the studios structure in Hollywood are two good examples), its introductory value is great.
I prefer Bordwell :)
Essentially, this history is just one big list of lists. Through the years, its biggest point of controversy has centered on who and what was left out. Written in 1981, the book is not only dated in terms of time but also in the fact that it has been replaced by online lists and filmographies. What interpretive history there is that goes into the book is minimal and not worth bothering with. Through the decades there have been so many of these general histories, including those by Giannetti, Bor...
This is a fascinating book and aside from the author spending a bit too much time simply listing directors and their films it is a excellent read. There are some fairly hefty passages that it seems the author was merely trying to fill space and boost page count by listing an extensive list of the films by a given filmmaker. This type of information would have been more effectively provided as lists in an appendix instead of taking up paragraphs of material. Otherwise this is an insightful and hi...
I never enjoyed history until it was grounded in a particular topic area. This book not only thoroughly covers the film industry--from its inception to its current state--it also offers a starting place for understanding global happenings more broadly. Cook explains the various cultural, social, and political factors that influenced film production and shaped the different ideologies that exist in our world. Since it is huge, I recommend going through this slowly or as a reference text.
Its good for what it is; but its that type of book which is never urgent to finish. Its a very thick encyclopedia of small film summaries; a few paragraphs about each film and what made the film relevant. This book I accidentally left at a friend's house and I wont see it back for a while; so I'm marking it as 'abandoned'. I'm very interested in narrative; but this one can be let go without regret.
I used this for my Film History classes in college and it's one of my favorite reference books. Even when I was taking other classes, I would always go back to this book to get a good background on whatever I was learning about. It's a great place to start for research and there are lots of photos to help explain concepts.
A great companion to an appreciation of movies - great information on the background and definitions of various 'movements' genres or periods in filmic history. Clear and unassailable info on 'why' certain films are so important to us
This is an interesting and thorough book that tells the story of narrative film just as the title suggests. I actually had a course with the author and he was great! I actually think there's a new version of the book coming out soon.
I used this book while I was studying film in Art School. Basically, it's too long, no one will ever finish it. Too much information that are not necessary anymore. The writing of the book is very academic and boring.
A wonderful introduction to film accompanied by diagrams and stills of shots that not only held my interest but helped my interest in this area of study grow tremendously. This book was read for an English course.
It's fun for people like me to bitch about this text, but at the end of the day it forms the foundation of my knowledge of film history, which I have lectured on at three universities.
A History of Narrative Film, Fourth Edition by David A. Cook (2004)
Excellent read that leaves one feeling very satisfied - a page turner that is difficult to put down.
A great resource, knocked down only by its huge omission of animation (though the author does state the form deserves a stand-alone history).
one of the best books about Cinema, Thanks to Maher for giving me this book, I really enjoyed every chapter.
Pretty dry but since it's a textbook that's not much of a surprise. Cook really enjoys DW Griffith though. Lots of information that really highlights where today's film has come from