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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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Dada A literary/art movement founded in 1916 in Zurich, Switzerland. The descriptive term “Dada” had no logical meaning; the expressed aim of the school was to negate the traditional relationship between calculation and creativity in the arts by approaching expression in a more playful, aleatory manner. The Dadaists borrowed from other movements of the time such as cubism, paper collage, and the displaying of industrially made objects (“ready-mades”) as works of art. The school was significant because of its influence on progressive artists throughout the world and was a stepping-stone to surrealism, which developed in the 1920s avant-garde. Man Ray, working in France in the 1920s, is frequently referred to as a “Dadaist filmmaker.” Ray used collage techniques in his films, spreading materials on the emulsion and then processing the film for whatever results occurred (Le Retour à la Raison, 1923; Emak Bakia, 1927). The early free-flowing, rhythmic films of René Clair, for example, Paris Qui Dort [The Crazy Ray] (1923), were also inspired by the playful interests of the Dada movement.

Dailies A day’s shots, processed and viewed for quality.

← 76 | 77 → Day-for-night photography A term for the photographic technique once used to simulate night scenes that were shot in daylight. Day-for-night filming required underexposure; filtration; and a careful consideration of such factors as sky conditions, color, and contrast of subject and background. One of the most important requirements for day-for-night filming was to darken the bright daytime sky and balance it with the...

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