The Movie Book: Big Ideas Simply Explained

325p. index. photos. reprods. DK. Jan. 2016. Tr $25. ISBN 9781465437990.
Gr 7 Up—This expansive overview of film history begins with A Trip to the Moon (1902) and concludes up-to-the-minute with Gravity and Boyhood. Era by era, the achievements of landmark directors, actors, and innovations are spotlighted, aided by informative time lines and eye-grabbing film stills and poster art. Each chapter centers on an example of a genre (The Wizard of Oz, musical, adventure; Citizen Kane, mystery drama; and The Bicycle Thief, Italian neorealism, to name three), aided by interpretative insights and enlightening sidebars, such as the possible symbolism in Oz. The editors have taken a wide-ranging, international view. Hollywood directors share the limelight with their mostly European counterparts, though well-known Asian directors (Akira Kurosawa and Satyajit Ray) are given their due, with a smattering from the rest of the world. However, some works profiled were made for mature audiences: Don't Look Now, Taxi Driver, and Blue Velvet.
VERDICT The featured films form a strong list of Hollywood Golden Age and art-house recommendations for cinephiles. Easy to peruse, this is a fine introduction for budding film buffs.

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