Cinema: Concept & Practice: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Cinema: Concept & Practice

1st Edition

By Edward Dmytryk


156 pages | 40 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2018-10-06
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In this unique study of the process of filmmaking, director Edward Dmytryk blends abstract film theory and the practical realities of feature film production to provide an artful and elegant analysis of the conceptual foundations of filmmaking and film studies. Dmytryk explores the technical principles underlying the craft of filmmaking and how their use is effective in developing the viewer’s involvement in the cinematic narrative.

Originally published in 1988, this reissue of Dmytryk’s classic book includes a new critical introduction by Joe McElhaney.

Table of Contents

Edward Dmytryk: A Short Biography

Introduction by Joe McElhaney

  1. The Collective Noun
  2. The Indispensible Viewer
  3. You’d Better Believe It
  4. The Power of the Set-Up
  5. Invisibility
  6. Moving and Molding
  7. Look at Him, Look at Her
  8. The Art of Separation
  9. Rules and Rule Breaking
  10. The Modification of the Reality
  11. Symbols, Metaphors, and Messages
  12. Auteurs, Actors, and Metaphors
  13. Time and Illusion
  14. The Force of Filmic Reality
  15. About a Forgotten Art


Filmography of Edward Dmytryk


About the Authors

Edward Dmytryk (1908-1999) was an Oscar-nominated American filmmaker, educator, and writer. Over an acclaimed forty-year filmmaking career, Dmytryk directed over fifty award-winning films, including Crossfire (1947), The Caine Mutiny (1954), Raintree County (1957), and The Young Lions (1958). Entering academic in the 1970s, Dmytryk lectured on both film and directing, first at the University of Texas at Austin and later at the University of Southern California. He is the author of several classic books on the art of filmmaking, including On Film Editing, On Screen Directing, On Screen Writing, On Screen Acting, and Cinema: Concept & Practice, all published by Focal Press/Routledge.

Joe McElhaney (contributor) is the author of The Death of Classical Cinema: Hitchcock, Lang, Minnelli (2006) and Albert Maysles (2009), and the editor of Vincente Minnelli: The Art of Entertainment (2009) and A Companion to Fritz Lang (2015). His numerous publications in major film journals and edited volumes include essays on the work of Howard Hawks, Preston Sturges, Roman Polanski, Chris Marker, and R.W. Fassbinder. He is Professor of Film Studies at Hunter College of the City University of New York.

About the Series

Edward Dmytryk: On Filmmaking

In the 1980s, Focal Press published five books on the art of filmmaking by legendary film director Edward Dmytryk (1908 – 1999), Oscar-nominated director of Crossfire, The Caine Mutiny, and The Young Lions, among many other films. Together, these five titles comprise a masterclass with one of Hollywood’s most acclaimed, storied, and controversial filmmakers.

With most of these books long out of print, Focal Press/Routledge is now pleased to reissue these classic titles with all-new supplemental material for current-day readers. Each book includes a new introduction, chapter lessons, exercises, discussion questions, and terminology.

Mick Hurbis-Cherrier serves as coordinator for the series, and has assembled professional and academic contributors from across the country to contribute to each volume.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
ART / Film & Video
PERFORMING ARTS / Film & Video / Direction & Production