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The Language of Cinema

Kevin Jackson

Cover Picture of The Language of Cinema
10% off
Series: Language Of
Categories: 20th Century, 21st Century, Language
Imprint: Carcanet Film
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Available as:
Hardback (288 pages)
(Pub. Apr 1998)
9781857542325
£16.95 £15.25
  • Description
  • Reviews
  • At the time of its birth just over a century ago, the cinema was greeted as a kind of universal language -- the first one that mankind had enjoyed since the complications of Babel and their aftermath. But this universal language soon developed a special language of its own, a professional jargon made up of words borrowed from the theatre, the factory and the laboratory, plundered from other arts and other nations or coined in the heat and hurry of film-making. The Language of Cinema provides a fascinating set of paths into this rich argot, sampling some 2000 of the most important words associated with the technology, business and skills of film-making, from the A and B roll printing and the auteur theory to Z-movies.

    As well as providing succinct definitions of those exotic terms that often baffle audiences when they roll up in end credits (what is Best Boy? A wrangle? A Swing Gang? A Key Grip?), or perplex readers of film reviews (what is film noir? Screwball comedy? a process shot? a Dutch angle? a travelling matte?), it also offers a brief history of each major word, illustrating how such terms came into being and how some of these terms have often been picked up by the world at large and used in everyday speech. Informative for the non-specialist film-buff and mere film-goer, entertaining for film professionals, The Language of Cinema is also essential reading for anyone interested in the story of how moving pictures have changed the way we speak, write and read as well as the way we see.
    Praise for Kevin Jackson 'This is the rare kind of book that you get fed up of quoting (there is so much) and simply end up buying for people. Carcanet should certainly be congratulated for publishing such a treasure trove and Jackson ordered by higher powers to keep producing books like it.'
    Mark Thwaite, ReadySteadyBook.com
    'A cabinet of curiosities in which every neatly lettered drawer reveals, reflected in a tiny mirror, the talking head of the prodigiously informed Kevin Jackson (or his smirking doppleganger, Dr Hannibal Lecter). Skeletal, perfectly formed lecturettes forge a secret biography of the author's obsessions: Blake, Dante, Freud. A mad Arcimboldo project with the answer to everything. Here is the antidote to all previous stocking-filling miscellanies. Buy one for all your friends and enemies. And welcome to the labyrinth.'
    Iain Sinclair
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