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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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In updating Dictionary of Film Terms to a Fifth Edition, I have included several dozen new and expanded definitions that provide for a comprehensive overview of the cinematic techniques, aesthetic concepts, structural elements, genres, and styles that have evolved as vital components of motion picture art and motion picture criticism.

New terms include, among many others: brocom/bromantic, bullet time, epistolary film, gender bender, LED lighting, reunion film, and wire fu. Among those definitions that have been expanded to incorporate new commentary and their meanings within contemporary film art are, to cite a few: back story, computer-generated imagery (CGI), psychosexual (analysis), queer cinema, gross-out film, and running gag. In addition, there are more than 150 new film references within term definitions that were not cited in previous editions.

Altogether this Fifth Edition comprises an up-to-date, concise handbook on the methods and unique multifaceted and constantly changing medium of motion picture storytelling and creative expression. Through definition, explanation, and select photographic illustrations, the Dictionary offers both the commonly used and the not-so-familiar terms that have been employed in describing cinema in all its aspects.

← xiii | xiv →In an attempt to provide a thorough overview of film aesthetics, Dictionary of Film Terms includes definitions that are relevant to the formative development of the motion picture, such as actualité, last-minute rescue, and Russian montage (see montage); as well as those that are applicable to contemporary cinema, such as animatronics, bluescreen/greenscreen process, digital cinema/projection, neo-noir film, synthespian,...

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