1st Edition

Film, Form, and Culture Fourth Edition

By Robert Kolker Copyright 2016
    370 Pages
    by Routledge

    370 Pages
    by Routledge

    Film, Form, and Culture (4th edition) offers a lively introduction to both the formal and cultural aspects of film. With extensive analysis of films past and present, this textbook explores film from part to whole; from the smallest unit of the shot to the way shots are edited together to create narrative. It then examines those narratives (both fiction and non-fiction) as stories and genres that speak to the culture of their time and our perceptions of them today.

    Composition, editing, genres (such as the gangster film, the Western, science fiction, and melodrama) are analyzed alongside numerous images to illustrate the discussion. Chapters on the individuals who make films - the production designer, cinematographer, editor, composer, producer, director, and actor - illustrate the collaborative nature of filmmaking.

    This new edition includes:

    • An expanded discussion of the digital 'revolution" in filmmaking: exploring the movement from celluloid to digital recording and editing of images, as well as the use of CGI
    • A new chapter on international cinema that covers filmmaking from Italy to Mumbai offering students a broader understanding of cinema on a worldwide scale
    • A new chapter on film acting that uses images to create a small catalogue of gestures and expressions that are recognizable in film after film
    • Expanded content coverage and in-depth analysis throughout, including a visual analysis of a scene from Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight
    • An expanded chapter on the cultural contexts of film summarizes the theories of cultural and media studies, concluding with a comparative analysis of Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo and Judd Apatow’s This is 40
    • Over 260 images, many in color, that create a visual index to and illustration of the discussion of films and filmmaking
    • Each chapter ends with updated suggestions for further reading and viewing, and there is an expanded glossary of terms.

    Additional resources for students and teachers can also be found on the companion website (www.routledge.com/cw/kolker), which includes additional case studies, discussion questions and links to useful websites.

    This textbook is an invaluable and exciting resource for students beginning film studies at undergraduate level.

    Preface  Introduction  1. Image and Reality  2. Formal Structures: How Films Tell Their Stories  3. The Building Blocks Of Film I: The Shot  4. The Building Blocks of Film II: The Cut  5. The Story Tellers of Film I  6. The Storytellers of Film II: Acting  7. The Storytellers of Film III: The Director  8. International Cinema  9. The Stories Told By Film I  10. The Stories Told by Film II  11. Film as Cultural Practice  Glossary  Index


    Robert P. Kolker is Professor Emeritus at the University of Maryland, College Park, USA. He is the author/editor of several books on film including The Cultures of American Film (2014), The Oxford Handbook of Film and Media Studies (2008), A Cinema of Loneliness, 4th edition (2011) and The Altering Eye (1983 and 2009).

    "Kolker's lucid, accessible style gives this book a pace and energy that sets it apart. Among the many introductory film textbooks, Film, Form, and Culture captures the reader's attention at first glance, and holds it throughout.

    Robert Burgoyne, Professor of Film Studies, University of St Andrews

    "Film, Form and Culture is a thoughtful, ambitious, and thorough introductory textbook that is also an absolute pleasure to read. Put simply, this richly illustrated book makes it easy to understand how to take film seriously. It is scaled to a manageable size and scope for classroom use, providing a comprehensive set of tools and skills with which to approach the study of film. Kolker introduces his reader to film and art history, theories of representation, genres and international cinemas, and the vocabulary with which to discuss moving images. True to its title, the book provides a framework with which to understand and engage with the way that form and culture interact through the medium of film. Kolker pulls off a rare feat with Film Form and Culture: he has provided teachers at any level with a readable and immensely useful book that is also rigorously intellectual. I have used earlier editions of Film, Form and Culture in my introductory film classes and I’m delighted to now be able to use this updated edition. This is a fantastic introductory book by one of the field’s foremost thinkers that will be appreciated by anyone wishing to better understand what makes films tick."

    Marsha Gordon, Associate Professor, Film Studies, North Carolina State University

    "Robert Kolker is both a brilliant analyst of film and a great teacher. He manages to explain and use complex concepts in limpid prose, and his effortless blend of textual and contextual approaches to cinema is a model to us all."

    Toby Miller, Professor of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies, Cardiff University and Sir Walter Murdoch Professor of Cultural Policy Studies, Murdoch University

    "Robert Kolker’s Film, Form, and Culture (4th edition) is a lucidly written textbook for undergraduate students who are beginning their film and media studies programs. Kolker takes the readers on a tantalizing journey in which they will encounter film language, grammar, history, theory and the broader issues of culture and ideology. The book does not get bogged down in jargon and theoretical trapeze walks. Its purpose is to teach students to unpack the artifice of cinema by learning the analytical tools to take the scenes apart and then figuring out how the audience puts them all together. The students will also learn the fact that film developed all over the world, almost at the same time, and form and style have been evolving ever since in different cultural contexts to render a rich body of work for all to see. "

    Manjunath Pendakur, Professor, School of Communication and Multimedia Studies, Florida Atlantic University