A Level Film Studies : The Essential Introduction book cover
3rd Edition

A Level Film Studies
The Essential Introduction

ISBN 9780415520898
Published February 17, 2020 by Routledge
504 Pages 114 Color Illustrations

FREE Standard Shipping
USD $44.95

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

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


View More



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).