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Featuring more than 6,500 articles, including over 350 new entries, this fifth edition of The Encyclopedia of British Film is an invaluable reference guide to the British film industry. It is the most authoritative volume yet, stretching from the inception of the industry to the present day, with detailed listings of the producers, directors, actors and studios behind a century or so of great British cinema.

Brian McFarlane's meticulously researched guide is the definitive companion for anyone interested in the world of film. Previous editions have sold many thousands of copies, and this fifth instalment will be an essential work of reference for universities, libraries and enthusiasts of British cinema.

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Andrew Dix

‘N, there’s no doubt about it, has to be for Narrative’, writes Peter Wollen in ‘An Alphabet of Cinema’ ( 2002 : 12). Wollen fashions here a miniature narrative of his own, delineating the history of cinema from its beginnings as ‘the history of the development of a “film language” that would facilitate storytelling’ (12). Certainly, the telling of stories has been fundamental to both the aesthetics and the economics of film, reaching far back into the medium’s history and extending globally also. It did not take long following its emergence late in the

in Beginning film studies (second edition)
‘The Platonic differential’ and ‘Zarathustra’s laughter’
Mischa Twitchin

of translation is not simply of a word but the contexts through which its meaning – for whom? – is in question. It is a moot point, after all, whether this (anti-) Platonic ‘cure’ of and by phantasmatic possession serves for the Hauka themselves, who are seen in everyday life outside the confines of the colonial psychiatric hospital (not to mention the cinema, as in the

in Foucault’s theatres
Andy Lawrence

Images and written texts not only tell us things differently, they tell us different things. David MacDougall author of Transcultural Cinema ( 1998 : 257) We write to test our thinking, and the same is true when we film. A modern approach to social research requires us to think about human action through its affect, bodily sense and experience, and for this we need techniques that work in real time as well as those that operate retrospectively. We cannot know the experience of another person completely, even if we share the same time and space, because

in Filmmaking for fieldwork
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Andrew Dix

, the moviegoer who narrates the novel, eventually gets round to a description of what the cinema was showing: ‘The movie was about a man who lost his memory in an accident and as a result lost everything’ (4). Noticeably, however, before turning to these textual matters, he establishes in some detail the geographical, architectural and social co-ordinates of this act of moviegoing. While the cinemas Binx attends later in the novel are generally in busy districts of New Orleans, this first one, by contrast, has an unpopulated, semi-rural location. The building itself

in Beginning film studies (second edition)
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Film studies and the digital
Andrew Dix

By way of conclusion, we turn first of all to a text cited much earlier in this book: Peter Wollen’s ‘An Alphabet of Cinema’ (in Wollen, 2002 ). Writing very early in the twenty-first century, Wollen was prescient in making one of his alphabetical selections: ‘O’, he says, ‘is for Online’ ( 2002 : 13). He goes on to indicate that the digital will leave its imprint, if that is not too concrete a term to apply to this technology of the virtual, upon all domains and levels of film. Thus transformations will occur in film production itself, since ‘Digital

in Beginning film studies (second edition)
Abstract only
Andrew Dix

their definitions of film categories with cultural power. This chapter and the next, however, offer more sustained, systematic extra-textual analysis. Chapter 10 gravitates towards the last three items on Miller et al.’s agenda for a reconfigured film studies: namely, the geographically and historically dispersed activities of ‘receiving’, ‘interpreting’ and ‘criticising’ that take place during film consumption. In this chapter, by contrast, we explore the production and distribution of films, their ‘making’ and ‘circulating’. An overview of Hollywood, cinema’s

in Beginning film studies (second edition)
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Andrew Dix

might extend from Fredric Jameson’s essay, ‘Class and Allegory in Contemporary Mass Culture: Dog Day Afternoon as a Political Film’ (1977) to the chapters entitled ‘Classical Hollywood Cinema and Class’ and ‘Cinematic Class Struggle After the Depression’ in Harry M. Benshoff and Sean Griffin’s America on Film: Representing Race, Class, Gender and Sexuality at the Movies (second edition, 2009 ). Elsewhere, as we will discuss below, film studies has often marginalised or occluded attention to particular class struggles in favour of more abstract, generalised

in Beginning film studies (second edition)
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Sound and music
Andrew Dix

popularly bestowed upon the medium evoke the visual’s pre-eminence: if movies and the flicks already hint at stimulation for the eye rather than a multisensory experience, the pictures is more ocularcentric still. This bias in everyday discourse has often been replicated in film studies itself. Beginning her pioneering book on music in cinema, Claudia Gorbman laments the discipline’s tendency towards ‘visual chauvinism’ ( 1987 : 2). Even Michel Chion – the French critic who has done as much as any scholar to promote and conceptualise film’s neglected auditory

in Beginning film studies (second edition)
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Andrew Dix

not look back quite so far in his magisterial history of film’s emergence, The Great Art of Light and Shadow , he nevertheless finds an early ‘cinema’ in the experiments conducted by thirteenth-century scholars who projected images in a darkened room by reflecting light from outside through a small aperture ( 2000 : 5). Mannoni’s book goes on to detail a host of technologies of image capture and projection that appeared in succeeding centuries. The best-known of these is the magic lantern (see Figure 1 ), a device which peaked in popularity during the Victorian

in Beginning film studies (second edition)