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



Variable focal-length lens (see Zoom shot)

Vertigo effect A visual in-camera effect that results when a backward moving dolly-out shot occurs simultaneously with a zoom-in of the camera lens, i.e., a “dolly-zoom” shot. The dolly zoom distorts perspective so that the center of interest in the shot (an object or character) does not change, but the background—the visual space—grows in scope. The term “Vertigo effect” comes from its use in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1958 psychological thriller Vertigo. Its application helped convey a sense of Jimmy Stewart’s acrophobic disorientation in the climactic bell-tower scene.

Viet-kieu film “Viet-kieu” is a word that translates as “overseas Vietnamese.” A Viet-kieu film is one created by a Vietnamese filmmaker who was raised abroad and who makes a motion picture about the motherland. The emergence of Viet-kieu films occurred after the “doi moi” (“renovation”) in 1986. “Renovation” referred to a relaxation by the Vietnamese government of restrictions that had been imposed on outside enterprise after the end of the Vietnam War in 1975 (in Vietnam, the “American War”). The movement toward a freer, open-market economy offered ← 275 | 276 → overseas Vietnamese filmmakers the opportunity to produce within Vietnam. The first significant Viet-kieu filmmaker was the Paris-raised director-writer Tran Anh Hung, who had left Vietnam with his parents in 1975. A first feature film, The Scent of Green Papaya (1992), was filmed in suburban Paris studios because of a shortage of equipment and facilities in Vietnam at the time. With Cyclo...

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.