¾ A History of Narrative Film ì Download by Ú David A. Cook

This was my primary reference for film courses when I attended Marquette U back in the mists of time I had two main film professors there One, James Arnold, was outstanding a published scholar in the field and a wonderful, personable guy The other, whose name I can t remember and wouldn t mention if I did, was a true idiot who seemed to be going senile and knew nothing about film aesthetics or style or philosophy or history and whose only criterion of film quality was if a film addressed social problems He was like a Bosley Crowther pedant freeze dried with the water sucked away All you had to say on the blue book quiz was social problems 20 times to get an A As least he showed us some good and at the time, rare films I actually went to Arnold s office to complain about this guy, but Arnold stuck to the Masonic old boy s club, no snit More like an encyclopedia with some narrative It s mostly namedropping, with too much weight given to the concept of nations and national cinema But at certain points the beginnings of film, the studios structure in Hollywood are two good examples , its introductory value is great.
This book, written in 1981, represents the state of the art of film studies for the previous generation As such, it is mostly of interest to people wanting to understand the flawed history of academic approaches to cinema Much of what it asserts has been challenged byrecent work, and where it hasn t, there is probably reason to reexamine and reconsider in the near future Cook s premise is where the problems begin Cook believes that cinema is a technological art, and that this somehow differs it from other art forms What he fails to comprehend is that all art is fundamentally tied to human technologies, and that it never exists in a pure state He compounds this fallacy by claiming that film s dependency on technology leads to a fundamenta conflict between the business side of fi Cook concludes by saying that we should understand old films for the achievements they are within technological capacity at the time of production As I read an edition from from 1989 90, the same goes for this book as I feel it leaves out issues of race and gender that would not be possible today.
Fourth Edition Adds An Entire Chapter On Computer Generated Imaging, Updates Filmographies For Nearly All Living Directors Mentioned In The Text, And Includes Major New Sections That Both Revisit Old Content And Introduce Contemporary Trends And ¾ A History of Narrative Film ì Download by Ú David A.
Cook Movements



I prefer Bordwell Essentially, this history is just one big list of lists Through the years, its biggest point of controversy has centered on who and what was left out Written in 1981, the book is not only dated in terms of time but also in the fact that it has been replaced by online lists and filmographies What interpretive history there is that goes into the book is minimal and not worth bothering with Through the decades there have been so many of these general histories, including those by Giannetti, Bordwell and Thompson, and Sobchack Probably the best of the bunch is Richard Maltby s Hollywood Cinema there is some genuine thought and theoretical insight within it Cook s book is the biggest, but it is far from the best.
 A History of Narrative Film  This is a fascinating book and aside from the author spending a bit too much time simply listing directors and their films it is a excellent read There are some fairly hefty passages that it seems the author was merely trying to fill space and boost page count by listing an extensive list of the films by a given filmmaker This type of information would have beeneffectively provided as lists in an appendix instead of taking up paragraphs of material Otherwise this is an insightful and highly informative historical reference.
Its good for what it is but its that type of book which is never urgent to finish Its a very thick encyclopedia of small film summaries a few paragraphs about each film and what made the film relevant This book I accidentally left at a friend s house and I wont see it back for a while so I m marking it as abandoned I m very interested in narrative but this one can be let go without regret.
I never enjoyed history until it was grounded in a particular topic area This book not only thoroughly covers the film industry from its inception to its current state it also offers a starting place for understanding global happeningsbroadly Cook explains the various cultural, social, and political factors that influenced film production and shaped the different ideologies that exist in our world Since it is huge, I recommend going through this slowly or as a reference text.