This essential book covers the key areas for A Level Film Studies students, building confidence through a careful, step-by-step approach.
The first part of the book establishes a basic understanding of the grounding of film analysis in the various elements of film construction, mise en scène, cinematography, editing, sound and performance, developing the knowledge students have of movies whilst challenging them to consider new films and ideas. Key theoretical approaches around narrative, genre, representation, spectatorship and authorship are introduced in Part II, before we consider specific national cinemas from around the world in parts III and IV. In Part V, the book assesses a range of slightly different film experiences, looking at silent cinema, experimental films and documentaries; before, finally, Part VI shifts to evaluating creative approaches to students’ own filmmaking.
Specifically designed to be user-friendly, the book has an easy-to-follow design, includes more than 60 colour images and is packed with features such as:
- case studies on a range of films and filmmakers;
- activities on such films as Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (Murnau, 1927, USA), Vertigo (Hitchcock, 1958, USA), Do the Right Thing (Lee, 1989, USA), We Need to Talk About Kevin (Ramsay, 2011, UK) and Stories We Tell (Polley, 2012, Canada);
- definitions of key terms; and
- suggestions for further reading and website resources.
Matched to the current exam specification, A Level Film Studies: The Essential Introduction covers everything students need to study as part of the course. The book is supported by a companion website at www.alevelfilmstudies.co.uk, offering further advice and activities.
Table of Contents
Introduction: This is Film Studies
Part I: Film Form and Analysis
Chapter 1: Mise en scène
Chapter 2: Cinematography
Chapter 3: Editing
Chapter 4: Sound
Chapter 5: Performance
Part II: Theoretical Approaches and Critical Debates
Chapter 6: Narrative and Genre
Chapter 7: Representation and Ideology
Chapter 8: Spectatorship and Audience Studies
Chapter 9: Authorship
Chapter 10: Historical, Social, and Cultural Contexts
Part III: Hollywood and US Cinema
Chapter 11: Classic Hollywood, 1930-1960
Chapter 12: New Hollywood, 1961-1990
Chapter 13: Contemporary American Cinema
Part IV: National Cinemas, Global Cinema, and Arthouse Film
Chapter 14: Contemporary British Cinema
Chapter 15: European Film
Chapter 16: Global Film
Part V: Further Varieties of Film Experience
Chapter 17: Silent Cinema
Chapter 18: Experimental Film
Chapter 19: Documentary Film: Theory and Practice
Part VI: Understanding Film through Creative Practice
Chapter 20: Researching and Constructing a Short Film: Narrative Construction
Sarah Casey Benyahia is Head of Film Studies at Colchester Sixth Form College. She is the author of Crime (2011), 'Between Place and Non-Place: Disrupting the Categorizations of the Past in Ida' in S. Allen and K. Møllegaard (eds), Narratives of Place in Literature and Film (2019), and co-author of Doing Film Studies (2012).
John White is the author of Westerns (2011), European Art Cinema (2017), and The Contemporary Western: An American Genre Post-9/11 (2019). He is co-editor of The Routledge Encyclopedia of Films (2014).
Freddie Gaffney is a lecturer, screenwriter, and filmmaker. He is co-author of AS Film Studies: The Essential Introduction, 2nd edn (2008) and On Screenwriting (2009).