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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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Iconography A pictorial representation of an object or a person; a film image that is taken to represent an object or person because of its similarity to the object. A photograph of a tree resembles a tree and is, therefore, an iconographic representation of a tree. The icon is one of the three principal signs or images examined in semiological criticism. Iconography refers to imagery within a motion picture that conveys the meaning of the work; iconographic representations may be intentionally chosen by the filmmaker for specific expressive value, or the imagery may be of a random, ambiguous nature.

Image The concrete or abstract representation of filmed material as it appears on the screen. In a general sense a film image is the potential effect of any photographed material, including its artistic and symbolic manifestations. The images in motion-picture criticism are regarded to be the visual components of the film as distinguished from the aural (sound) components. Unlike the image within a still photograph or painting, motion-picture images are most often in a constant state of kinetic motion, and come to the viewer through light reflection. These physical characteristics of motion and reflected light give to the film ← 142 | 143 → image unusual powers of expression that are both artistically and psychologically affective.

Imagist film A type of film that employs a series of related images to effect a mood or to create an abstract concept. In his theoretical writing on the cinema, Sergei Eisenstein...

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