Introduction
in Beginning film studies (second edition)
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This chapter is divided into three main sections. The first traces economically the emergence of film as a medium in the late nineteenth century, noting its entanglement with many other forms of visual culture (not least the magic lantern). It is also observed that film’s current status as an object of analysis is complicated by digital developments. The second section turns to the emergence of film studies itself, briefly plotting the discipline’s consolidation from patchy beginnings in the first half of the twentieth century. The third section outlines the intentions of this book, summarises its structure and contents, and considers a number of questions readers may have as they begin work in film studies (for example, regarding the specialist, sometimes demanding terminology of film studies or how an increasing engagement with this discipline may affect the immersive experience important to many spectators when watching movies).

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