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Cinema Today

A Conversation with Thirty-nine Filmmakers from around the World

Elena Oumano

Publication Year: 2011

In Cinema Today, Elena Oumano has ingeniously crafted a conversation from her personal and individual interviews with a distinguished group of international cinema legends. She follows a lively symposium-in-print format, with the filmmakers' words and thoughts grouped together under various key cinema topics. Collectively these artists reflect on and explore issues and concerns of modern filmmaking, from the practical to the aesthetic, including the process, cinematic rhythm and structure, and the many aspects of the media: business, the viewer, and cinema's place in society.

Published by: Rutgers University Press


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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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p. vii

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pp. ix-xii

... the far-flung bits and pieces borrowed from older, more established arts are shaped into a smooth, composite whole to make great cinema, something entirely new, powerful, and exciting results—moving images and sounds that follow their own rules of movement, space, and story to reveal a livelier, more passionately intense reflection of the world as we experience it. This metamorphosis begs the perennial question, what is cinema? ...

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pp. xiii-xiv

... thanks go to my colleague Philip Weisman, who first suggested I embark on this book project. Cinema Today would also not have been possible without the encouragement, support, guidance, and faith of my terrific editor, Leslie Mitchner. I am endlessly grateful to the many people who support cinema by creating and running film festivals and art house cinemas and by working as publicists to help worthy films reach their audiences. They had little to ...

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1. Cinematography

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pp. 1-25

... the cinematographer (aka director of photography, or DP) is the director’s greatest ally, but the relationship between director and DP varies. Some independent directors, such as Lance Hammer and Andrew Bujalski, welcome the DP’s input during pre-production and the shooting phase on virtually every decision relating to the film’s visuals and sometimes even on other matters. Some directors plan all the camera shots themselves, often ...

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2. Cinema and Sound

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pp. 26-47

... the last major element to be added to the language of cinema, sound was its final artistic frontier, and, in some respects, it still is. When sound was first added to moving images, it was widely regarded as an aesthetic tragedy and a business threat. Before, a good love story could be seen all over the world. No one cared who played the parts—Czech, Russian, English, ...

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3. Working with Actors

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pp. 48-78

... process through which an actor transforms a character that exists on paper into a fully realized, complex, and persuasive being is elusive and variable. At the very least, an actor should possess enough emotional intelligence to comprehend the complexities of the character and enough intellectual intelligence to understand how that character fits into the ...

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4. Cinematic Rhythm and Structure

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pp. 79-91

... ability to defy ordinary limits of time and space means that a film’s structure can be as complex as an architectural space, with various angles of entry and points of view, hidden rooms, and twisting, turning passageways. Some films are labyrinths in which the viewer searches for resolution, a way out, while other films are like big, empty rooms in which ...

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5. The Process Pre-Production, Production, and Post-Production

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pp. 92-147

... of us enter a movie theater, look at the screen, hear the sound, and experience a single impact. If you ask us a few days later, “What did you see?” we’ll tell you the story of the film as if we had lived it with the characters. So we tend to assume that the filmmaker’s choices relate mostly to content, that is, story and characters. But this apparent simplicity belies a complicated and collaborative ...

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6. The Business Financing, Distribution, and Exhibition

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pp. 148-164

... a film may be a creative process, but getting the film to viewers involves many non-art functions as well as issues of control. In most ways, the business of filmmaking is just like any other. Mismatched as they may be, art and business are longtime bedfellows; but profit, or at least breaking even, is particularly crucial for film, because making ...

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7. Cinema, Art, and Reality

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pp. 165-186

... apparent reflection of physical reality inclines it toward portraying our interactions within our environment. It has also led to a commonly held myth that cinema’s continuous, two-dimensional images do not lie. Documentaries, in particular, often seem to offer views of our world as it really is; but, of course, a film is always constructed from whatever ...

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8. The Viewer

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pp. 187-208

... jazz or pop music, cinema is a popular art form meant to communicate with many people, often at once. Just as a film’s illusion is a complicated thing, made up of various and sundry parts that somehow draw together into an integrated whole, the audience is a composite that ranges from the wide-eyed and rapt to the distracted and preoccupied ...

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9. Cinema and Society

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pp. 209-232

... the most escapist fantasy film cannot help but transport some fragment of its maker’s ideology and traces of its parent culture. Whenever an actor is filmed on location, whatever is in the background is captured on camera as well. Even a fabricated film set expresses something of its time, culture, and values. For instance, films from the thirties bear witness to ...

Profiles of the Filmmakers

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pp. 233-276

E-ISBN-13: 9780813550282
E-ISBN-10: 0813550289
Print-ISBN-13: 9780813548760
Print-ISBN-10: 0813548764

Page Count: 296
Illustrations: 39 photographs
Publication Year: 2011

OCLC Number: 772000555
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Cinema Today

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Motion picture authorship.
  • Motion picture producers and directors -- Interviews.
  • Screenwriters -- Interviews.
  • Motion pictures -- Production and direction.
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