THIS JOURNAL DOCUMENTS MY INTAKE OF ONE BOOK, ZINE, CD OR DVD A DAY. RATINGS ARE: ***** = Godhead, **** = Great, *** = Good, ** = Fair, * = Why Bother?

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The Story of Film (****)

by Mark Cousins
Da Capo Press, 2006, 512 pages

Saw this at Daedalus Books & Music and had to pick it up. Yeah, I know, there's a zillion books on the history of film (God knows I have most of them!), but this one is really slick, with great photos and great reviews. Mark Cousins is the host of BBC's Scene by Scene, as well as an author and director of documentaries.

Here's the editorial blurb from Amazon:
The Story of Film presents the history of the movies in a way never told before. Weaving personalities, technology, and production with engaging descriptions of groundbreaking scenes, Mark Cousins uses his experience as film historian, producer, and director to capture the shifting trends of movie history without recourse to jargon. We learn how filmmakers influenced each other; how contemporary events influenced them; how they challenged established techniques and developed new technologies to enhance their medium. Striking images reinforce the reader's understanding of cinematic innovation both stylistic and technical. Presenting three epochs — Silent (1885–1928); Sound (1928–1990) and Digital (1990–Present) — The Story of Film spans the birth of the moving image; the establishment of Hollywood; the European avant-garde movements; personal filmmaking; world cinema and recent phenomena such as Computer Generated Imagery and the ever-more "real" realizations of the wildest of imaginations. Here are mainstream entertainment films and maverick talents, breathtaking moments and technical revolutions, blockbuster movies and art-house gems, icons of the screen and the hard workers behind the scenes. It is a powerful story of the world's most popular artistic medium.

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