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Dictionary of Film Terms

The Aesthetic Companion to Film Art – Fifth Edition

Frank Beaver

Now in its fifth edition, Frank Beaver’s Dictionary of Film Terms has become an indispensable reference tool for the study of films and filmmaking. This trusted and practical handbook clearly and concisely defines the essential terms of film analysis and film art, with a special focus on the aesthetic parameters and values of filmmaking.
The updated and expanded edition includes new definitions ranging from «bullet-time» optical effects, to the coming-of-age narrative, and LED lighting technology in science fiction films such as Gravity. More than 200 film title references not cited in previous editions have been added. Many classic and contemporary photo stills are included to illustrate terms. Extensive cross-referencing among individual definitions ensures easy access to interrelated terms, and a comprehensive topical index relates to larger concepts of film art.
This up-to-date and comprehensive resource is a useful companion for film students and filmgoers, who will find it illuminating in its range and clarity.
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Throughout his academic career, Professor Frank Beaver has opened the world of film for countless people through his reverence, enthusiasm, and affection for the cinema. Not long after I entered the University of Michigan as an undergraduate, I heard the student buzz about Professor Beaver’s courses. It was the general consensus that his classes were unofficially mandatory regardless of your major field of study. This was not about the usual lure for undergraduates who discover that they can earn college credit for watching movies; rather, Professor Beaver had the reputation for expanding students’ cultural awareness and worldview. In his courses one discovered, and studied with substantial rigor, the masterworks of world cinema new and old, and came to understand filmmaking as a universal art form linking us across cultures and to our own history. Yes, he had a vast knowledge of film history, theory, and practice, but Professor Beaver’s real magic was in his talent and dedication as a teacher. He had a rare ability to truly connect people to cinema, fostering an understanding of the art form and a deeper engagement with films no matter where or how they are produced—from Hollywood to India, from commercial movies to auteur films, from experimental shorts to widescreen epics.

← ix | x → This same spirit jumps off every page of Frank Beaver’s excellent dictionary. This volume is more than an extended glossary or a dry list of key terms and their definitions. As cinema’s Samuel Johnson, Frank Beaver...

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