Film by Michael Wood
A Very Short Introduction

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Synopsis

Film is considered by some to be the most dominant art form of the twentieth century. It is many things, but it has become above all a means of telling stories through images and sounds. The stories are often offered to us as quite false, frankly and beautifully fantastic, and they are sometimes insistently said to be true. But they are stories in both cases, and there are very few films, even in avant-garde art, that don't imply or quietly slip into narrative. This story element
is important, and is closely connected with the simplest fact about moving pictures: they do move.

Even the older meanings of the word 'film' - a membrane, a covering, a veil, an emanation - now seem to have something to do with moving pictures. Many people believe films are an instrument of illusion, an emphatic way of seeing what is not there; and this capacity has been both celebrated and condemned. 'Like a movie' mostly means like some sort of fairy-tale. But what about the reverse proposition: that more than any other invention film brings us close to the world as it actually is?
'Photography is truth', a character says in a film by Jean-Luc Godard. 'And cinema is the truth twenty-four times per second'. The same claim is made every day, albeit less epigrammatically, by newsreels and surveillance cameras.

In this Very Short Introduction Michael Wood provides a brief history and examination of the nature of the medium of film, considering its role and impact on society as well as its future in the digital age.

ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
 

About Michael Wood

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For more than 20 years, historian and broadcaster Michael Wood has made compelling journeys into the past, which have brought history alive for a generation of readers and viewers. He is the author of several highly praised books on English history including In Search of the Dark Ages, The Doomsday Quest, In Search of England and In Search of Shakespeare. He has over 80 documentary films to his name, among them Art of the Western World, Legacy, In the Footsteps of Alexander the Great, Conquistadors and In Search of Myths and Heroes.
 
Published January 26, 2012 by OUP Oxford. 153 pages
Genres: Education & Reference, Humor & Entertainment, Arts & Photography. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Film

The Guardian

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The Guardian

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Two are by film directors, two are by film critics, one is by a film scholar, one is by a dance critic, one is by a philosopher, one is a novel, another is (though not a novel) by a novelist, and one is a memoir.

May 18 2012 | Read Full Review of Film: A Very Short Introduction

Independent.ie

It would be hard to argue that Hollywood corrupted Dennis Hopper, because almost as soon as he got there he was up to no good.

Dec 03 2011 | Read Full Review of Film: A Very Short Introduction

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