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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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Haiku (see Imagist film)

Handheld camera A term used to describe a type of motion-picture filming where the camera has noticeably not been mounted on a stationary or mechanical securing device. Handheld cinematography is often intentionally used to add a spontaneous, freestyle quality to a motion picture. The technique has been employed extensively in cinéma vérité documentaries and often in narrative films as well. A lengthy fight scene in Franco Zeffirelli’s Romeo and Juliet (1968) was filmed with a handheld camera to make the camera appear to be a participant in the action. The introduction of the Steadicam body device in the 1970s made handheld camera work increasingly popular for following action in enclosed spaces, for example, in Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining (1980), Bertrand Tavernier’s ’Round Midnight (1986), and Wolfgang Petersen’s Air Force One (1997). A vérité-like quality in the social thriller The Constant Gardener (2005) is achieved to a significant degree by the constant use of a handheld camera. The technique is so persistent that its use is both disconcerting and dizzying, an effect that underscores the plot’s dramatic intensity and edginess.

← 134 | 135 → Handheld camera shots served as a key element in Julie Delpy’s 2 Days in Paris (2007), a quirky romantic comedy about a French woman living in the United States who takes her American boyfriend home to Paris to meet her family and old friends. The trip results in an intense strain on the couple’s relationship....

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