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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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Kinestasis A filmmaking technique in which still photographs rather than moving images are used as the source of visual information. The word “kinestasis” is derived from two Greek words: kine (“movement”), implying that the images are to be projected by a motion-picture projector, and stasis (“static”), indicating that the images within the frames themselves do not move. The movement of the images gives the still photographs a rhythmic flow. The technique of kinestasis was employed in the New York City and boat sequences of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969). Kinestatic interludes suggest the changing social, cultural, and political climate brought by the passage of time in the Robert Mulligan comedy Same Time, Next Year (1978), the study of an ongoing, annual adulterous affair. Like the freeze-frame, kinestatic images can present movements in a contemplative state rather than in a state of rapid flux. The short, award-winning, science-fiction film La Jetée (1964) employs kinestatic techniques entirely, except for a brief moment when a character opens her eyes and blinks at the camera. La Jetée is about the efforts of scientists to project human beings into the past and the future, a subject for which the technique of kinestasis seems especially appropriate.

← 155 | 156 → The Iraq-located warfare scenes in Kimberly Pierce’s Stop-Loss (2008) were created through kinestatic photo montages. Kinestasis is also a popular technique in short animation films—for example, Charles Braverman’s three-minute recapitulation of U.S. history, American Time Capsule (1968) and Frank...

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