Show Less
Restricted access

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.
Show Summary Details
Restricted access



Narration A term for the spoken words of a person who relates information in a film directly rather than through dialogue. A narrator may be a character in the film or an anonymous, unseen “voice” that narrates the action of the drama or the documentary. An on-screen narrator may talk directly into the camera or, more commonly, speak in voice-over narration.

Naturalism A stylistic approach in literature, drama, or film with an emphasis on stark reality. Suggestions of artifice are avoided, and the environment in its fullest representative form becomes a central force in shaping social conditions and the destiny of characters. The naturalist also avoids value judgments in depicting character behavior, which is viewed as socially and biologically predetermined. The naturalistic school was greatly influenced in the 1870s by the French novelist-playwright Emile Zola with his “slice of life” approach to stage expression. A pessimistic, tragic view of everyday life dominated Zola’s work and that of his follower, André Antoine, at the Théâtre Libre. In cinema, naturalistic intentions have appeared in the films of Louis Delluc (Fièvre, 1921), Erich von Stroheim (Greed, 1924), G.W. Pabst (The Joyless Street, 1925), Jean Renoir (Toni, ← 192 | 193 → 1934), and in the body of post-World War II Italian neorealist films. The socially conscious, “kitchen-sink” realism films of 1960s Britain were starkly naturalistic in quality, examples being Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1960) and A Taste of Honey (1961). Another British film, Dance with a Stranger (1985), possessed...

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.

Do you have any questions? Contact us.

Or login to access all content.