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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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War picture One of the cinema’s most enduring narrative genres. The realistic docudrama and epic possibilities inherent in the motion-picture medium have acted to draw filmmakers and filmgoers to the history-based war picture. Conflicts around the globe, from ancient to modern times, have been subjects for screen treatment, and the parameters and audience reception of the war picture have been broad. As a genre it has spawned the mythic heroic exploits of John Wayne in patriotic World War II films, and tales of bravery and clan loyalty in Samurai-warrior pictures in Japan. These types of war films have had national cultural implications, and they have had wide popular success as action entertainment on the motion picture screen. The structure of the traditional war picture has often been derived from narrative treatment of individuals in a military group who together represent a range of cultural and ethnic backgrounds as well as differing psychological states of mind in the heat of battle. Some will die; some will emerge as heroes. These have been common elements in the formulaic war picture.

In contrast are works of filmmakers who create military stories that explore the harsh realities, complexities and disillusionment ← 281 | 282 → that invariably come—individually and nationally—with war. The futility of war is a common theme in dark, ironic war pictures.

A recurring theme in classic war films has been that of the young untested soldier heading bravely into battle, sometimes returning a hero, but often...

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