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Understanding Movies: The Art and History of Film: The Modern Scholar | [Raphael Shargel]

Understanding Movies: The Art and History of Film: The Modern Scholar

Why does the cinema have the power to move the heart, stimulate the mind, and dazzle the imagination? How did the art of film develop from its origins to the present day? This course covers the history and aesthetics of the movies. It traces the experiments and innovations that gave rise to the modern cinema, developing a vocabulary that helps explain the variety of choices filmmakers make when they construct shots and edit them together.
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Publisher's Summary

Why does the cinema have the power to move the heart, stimulate the mind, and dazzle the imagination? How did the art of film develop from its origins to the present day?

This course covers the history and aesthetics of the movies. It traces the experiments and innovations that gave rise to the modern cinema, developing a vocabulary that helps explain the variety of choices filmmakers make when they construct shots and edit them together.

In each lecture, Professor Raphael Shargel introduces a period of film history, talks about its importance, covers aspects of cinematic technique, and illustrates his points by analyzing specific movies from the era under discussion. The course thus has both breadth and depth, covering the major movements in film history while at the same time focusing on key pictures worthy of study and enjoyment.

Download the accompanying reference guide.

©2008 Raphael Shargel (P)2008 Recorded Books,LLC

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3.6 (35 )
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  •  
    ESK Moscow, Russia 07-22-12
    ESK Moscow, Russia 07-22-12 Member Since 2011

    There are books of the same chemical composition as dynamite. The only difference is that a piece of dynamite explodes once, whereas a book explodes a thousand times. ― Yevgeny Zamyatin

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Educational! But ...the mike's too close!"
    What about the narrator’s performance did you like?

    Mr. Shargel is a passionate and charismatic lecturer, compelling to listen to. But he's a hard swallower, I must admit. But anyway, if you're interested in film studies, don't hesitate to buy it.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nadia BROOKLYN, NY, United States 09-28-11
    Nadia BROOKLYN, NY, United States 09-28-11
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    "Great info, but author should watch mouth noises"

    This is great info, and I am learning a lot. But, I have a real pet peeve about mouth noises (saliva or lack thereof), swallowing. The microphone picks up everything and well, it's a little gross, to be honest. Like I said, he's great, but the noises and swallowing are getting in the way of my total enjoyment. It could be remedied with hydration or pulling away from the mic when he pauses to swallow.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Quentin Bacon San Francisco, California 03-15-10
    Quentin Bacon San Francisco, California 03-15-10 Member Since 2001
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    "Great, but offensive sound throughout"

    Great author and book, but if you're listening whith an ipod and you find drinking, cotten mouth and swalling offensive, you're going to have a hard time. How could such a good book receive such a poor recording?

    6 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Lynn FPO, AP United States 04-28-14
    Robert Lynn FPO, AP United States 04-28-14 Member Since 2011
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    "If you like Siskel and Ebert then...maybe."

    I picked up this book to compliment a college course i'm taking called "Movies and Meaning". I was hoping that it would help explain some of the terms of the art and history of film such as lighting and camera perspective along with film noir and auter in yet another way to help reinforce the classroom learning.

    What I got instead was a film critic review of films through different time periods. Despite having a title and subject that is for beginners, the terms that the author did use were not explained before use and assumed a level of knowledge before listening.

    The author made comments about the films subject matter based on his understanding of the film industry at the time and not the films subject matter. He butchered the review of INDIANA JONES and STAR WARS to the point where it seems that his review was based on a poorly written article about the films. If he was actually talking about the art and history of films where he focused on the making of the movies and the film industry at the time, then maybe. Instead, he was actually reviewing the film subject matter like a film critic.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    thatsacando LOS ANGELES, CA, United States 09-24-12
    thatsacando LOS ANGELES, CA, United States 09-24-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Great information/passion. Obnoxious mouth noises."
    What made the experience of listening to Understanding Movies: The Art and History of Film the most enjoyable?

    The information, really. The narrator seemed to be passionate about the material.


    What did you like best about this story?

    A lot of information presented with excitement in a digestible way.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by the narrator?

    Only if he can get a handle on his mouth noises. Or an editor cut them out.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No.


    Any additional comments?

    Between the narrator and whoever produced or quality checked the audio, someone should have said something about the mouth noises and swallowing. Obnoxious and really distracting, which is a shame because the information and passion is there.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anna brooklyn, NY, United States 08-01-12
    Anna brooklyn, NY, United States 08-01-12
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    "Nice Lecture, but noises are just ruining it"
    Any additional comments?

    I agree with all previous reviews, the lecture is pretty interesting, especially if you are a beginner in this topic, BUT these noises, it is SO annoying, he doesn't even shot the mike to take a sip of water... egh.. sounds disgusting (despite the fact that he has very pleasing sound voice)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joshua APO, AP, United States 07-20-11
    Joshua APO, AP, United States 07-20-11
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    "Hard-swallower"

    This book delivers what it advertises. It serves as a great history of film and is presented by a very intelligent lecturer who offers great insight into each film as well as show how it contributes to each period of film. However, the presentation has one fatal flaw: the lecturer continuously hard-swallows right into the microphone. This becomes so distracting, that it is hard to pay attention to the lectures after a while. Perhaps hire a professional voice man next time, or a least some recording etiquette training for the lecturer.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rexel Henderson, NV, United States 07-08-10
    Rexel Henderson, NV, United States 07-08-10 Member Since 2008
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    "Enthusiastic but lacking..."

    Professor Shargel delivery is passionate and joyous. Unfortunately, halfway through, this scholar lost me. As he presents "Casablanca" and "Now, Voyager", he mentions the name of Jerry's daughter in the latter as "June". JUNE!? Any self-respecting fan of "Now, Voyager" knows the girl's name was Tina!!! June was the name of Charlotte's niece (portrayed by Bonita Granville), not Jerry Durrance's daughter!

    1 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-8 of 8 results
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  • Howard
    Frome, United Kingdom
    2/18/12
    Overall
    "Pace, Passion... and Gulping"

    Recommended for its energy and enthusiasm - this is an enthralling gallop through the history of cinema.

    The focus is on Prof. Shargel's taste for the Art within film-making so it is personal and subjective. His contempt for vacuous Hollywood action movies is evident! But his exploration is never showy or high-minded, grounded as it is, in the speakers humility, his authentic love of film and its power to touch the human soul. The theme of each illuminating lecture (14 in all) is well chosen and leads naturally into the next.

    One minor complaint; Shargel seems to suffer from an excess of saliva production - his delivery is peppered with squelchy gulps which slightly grossed me out! Once over this however, I was riveted for the duration - even by areas which I feared may be dull.

    Left me feeling inspired to re-watch some classics and seek out some hitherto unknown films. Great stuff.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • anna
    Glasgow, United Kingdom
    6/18/13
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    "Very interesting.. highly recomended.."
    What did you like about this audiobook?

    Interesting and catching attention interpretation of films. Listening to the lectures has changed they way I will look and think about films. I bought few audiobooks about films and this is definitely the best one, comes with access to on-line resources which is a bonus.


    Does the author present information in a way that is interesting and insightful, and if so, how does he achieve this?

    Mr Shargel is very passionate and convincing about films and that makes listening even more interesting (not like some emotionless narrators), great knowledge!


    What did you find wrong about the narrator's performance?

    The performance could be improved a bit .. but content is worth listening despite some faults in performance..


    Do you have any additional comments?

    Very much recommended for film students and anyone interested in films - you will look at films in a new way after listening to these lectures..

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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