by Alex Cox - £16.99 Kamera Books (2016)
paperback ISBN 13: 9781843447467 | ISBN 10: 1843447460
Picasso apparently said, "When critics get together, they talk about theory. When painters get together, they talk about turpentine.' That has been my experience, as far as film and film studies are concerned. Critics, academics, and theoreticians talk theory. That is what they know. Artists talk about their processes in making art. This is my attempt to apply what I know to a beginning study of film.
Emerging filmmakers need to know the basics of their art form: the language of the camera, and lenses, the different crew roles, the formats, the aspect ratios. They also need to know some bare-bones theory: what an auteur is, what montage is, what genres are. Words like these are our currency: they must be known. But, even more urgently, young filmmakers need answers to their questions -- what lens was used? how did they do that effect? who paid for that picture? how did they get it past the censor?
Most important, all filmmakers require serious grounding in film. You cannot be a great artist if you aren't versed in great art. And this doesn't just apply to the cinema. My book is for aspiring filmmakers, but also for students, and for people generally interested in grounding themselves in this particular art form - from a filmmaker's perspective.
I believe 100% that a reasonably educated and intelligent person in any country of the world should be able to have a conversation about Luis Buñuel, about Akira Kurosawa, about Stanley Kubrick, about Fellini or Bergman, and talk knowledgeably about at least one of their films. Read this book, watch the films, and you can!
(Price & availability last checked: September 2016)