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Thinking about Movies

Watching, Questioning, Enjoying

Lehman, Peter / Luhr, William


4. Edition October 2018
496 Pages, Softcover
Wiley & Sons Ltd

ISBN: 978-1-118-31544-6
John Wiley & Sons

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A complete introduction to analyzing and enjoying a wide variety of movies, for film students and movie lovers alike

Thinking About Movies: Watching, Questioning, Enjoying, Fourth Edition is a thorough overview of movie analysis designed to enlighten both students and enthusiasts, and heighten their enjoyment of films. Readers will delve into the process of thinking about movies critically and analytically, and find how doing so can greatly enhance the pleasure of watching movies. Divided roughly into two parts, the book addresses film studies within the context of the dynamics of cinema, before moving on to a broader analysis of the relationship of films to the larger social, cultural, and industrial issues informing them.

This updated fourth edition includes an entirely new section devoted to a complete analysis of the film adaptation of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, along with many in-depth discussions of important films such as Citizen Kane and Silence of the Lambs. The chapter on television integrates a major expansion distinguishing between television in the digital era of the convergence of the entertainment and technology industries in comparison to the era of broadcast analogue television. The final chapter places film within the current context of digital culture, globalization, and the powerful rise of China in film production and exhibition.

The authors clearly present various methodologies for analyzing movies and illustrate them with detailed examples and images from a wide range of films from cult classics to big-budget, award-winning movies. This helps viewers see new things in movies and also better understand and explain why they like some better than others.

Thinking About Movies: Watching, Questioning, Enjoying, Fourth Edition is ideal for film students immersed in the study of this important, contemporary medium and art form as well as students and readers who have never taken a class on cinema before.

List of Figures ix

How to Use This Book xvi

Acknowledgments xix

About the Companion Blog xxi

1 Introduction 1

Fatal Attraction and Scarface

2 Narrative Structure 27

Jurassic Park and Rashomon

3 Formal Analysis 61

Rules of the Game and The Sixth Sense

4 Authorship 87

The Searchers and Jungle Fever

5 Genres 111

Sin City and Gunfight at the OK Corral

6 Series, Sequels, and Remakes 141

Goldfinger and King Kong (1933 and 2005)

7 Actors and Stars 171

Morocco and Dirty Harry

8 Audiences and Reception 197

A Woman of Paris and The Crying Game

9 Film and the Other Arts 222

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1933) and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)

10 Film and its Relation to Radio and Television 257

Richard Diamond, Private Detective; Peter Gunn; Victor/Victoria; 24; and Homeland

11 Realism and Theories of Film 296

The Battleship Potemkin and Umberto D

12 Gender and Sexuality 317

The Silence of the Lambs and American Gigolo

13 Race 341

Out of the Past, LA Confidential, and Boyz N the Hood

14 Class 371

Pretty Woman and The People Under the Stairs

15 Citizen Kane: An Analysis 396

Citizen Kane

16 Current Trends: Globalization and China, 3D, IMAX, Internet TV 419

Glossary 441

Index 446

"This thoroughly revised and up-to-date edition of Lehman's and Luhr's celebrated textbook will continue to inform and inspire new generations of students and researchers of film and media. It combines a commendable clarity of argument with incisive and innovative close analysis of key illustrative examples. The book covers a wide range of key aspects of film and media studies (narrative, analysis, authorship, stars, genres, seriality or reception) and key theoretical issues and frameworks. Every student of film and media should read this book."

--Professor Santiago Fouz-Hernández, Durham University, UK

"This incomparable introductory film textbook is one that I truly want to read and continue reading--even as a film professor who has used a number of the most lauded texts on the market over my many years of teaching. In this intelligently structured book, every chapter invites film students and professors, alike, to embark on an engagingly coherent yet open-ended journey through the fundamental roads of film aesthetics, form, style, history, and--quite crucially--through the unpredictable avenues of film's mediating role in representing and responding to varied historical, cultural, and industrial contexts. Posing many honest, and often, unanswerable questions--yet within strongly articulated and informative frameworks for analysis--all chapters place fascinating films in dialogue with each other and encourage readers, at whatever level, to consider and reconsider their responses to and understanding of the traditional cinema and its emerging iterations in the digital age."

--Cynthia Lucia, Rider University, US and Cineaste

"Filled with extremely helpful images and delightfully detailed, insightful analyses of films and other media, Thinking About Movies shows two of our most eminent film scholars in excellent form. Besides its obvious use for introductory cinema studies courses, this engaging, highly readable text could also prove valuable in courses dedicated to close textual analysis, the politics of representation, and film theory, and should have considerable interest for general readers as well. This new edition explores issues of new technology, globalization and more with the same thoughtfulness and erudition as the rest of the book. An impressive achievement, designed and certain to provoke healthy discussion."

--David Lugowski, Manhattanville College, U
Peter Lehman is Professor of Film and Media Studies in English and Director of the Center for Film, Media and Popular Culture at Arizona State University. He is author, coauthor, and editor of 12 books and a former president of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies. He is also the Founding Editor of Wide Angle: A Film Quarterly of Theory, Criticism, and Practice. He lectures widely, both nationally and internationally.

William Luhr is Professor of English and Film at Saint Peter's University and Co-Chair of the faculty-level Columbia University Seminar on Cinema and Interdisciplinary Interpretation. He has published over a dozen books as well as numerous articles and interviews primarily concerned with film studies, the most recent being Film Noir, published by Wiley-Blackwell in 2012 (Chinese language edition, 2014). He has lectured widely, both nationally and internationally.

P. Lehman, University of Arizona; W. Luhr, St. Peter's College