From the New York Times bestselling author of How to Read Literature Like a Professor comes an indispensable analysis of our most celebrated medium, film.
No art form is as instantly and continuously gratifying as film. When the house lights go down and the lion roars, we settle in to be shocked, frightened, elated, moved, and thrilled. We expect magic. While we’re being exhilarated and terrified, our minds are also processing data of all sorts—visual, linguistic, auditory, spatial—to collaborate in the construction of meaning.
Thomas C. Foster’s Reading the Silver Screen will show movie buffs, students of film, and even aspiring screenwriters and directors how to transition from merely being viewers to becoming accomplished readers of this great medium. Beginning with the grammar of film, Foster demonstrates how every art form has a grammar, a set of practices and if-then propositions that amount to rules. He goes on to explain how the language of film enables movies to communicate the purpose behind their stories and the messages they are striving to convey to audiences by following and occasionally breaking these rules.
Using the investigative approach readers love in How to Read Literature Like a Professor, Foster examines this grammar of film through various classic and current movies both foreign and domestic, with special recourse to the “AFI 100 Years-100 Movies” lists. The categories are idiosyncratic yet revealing.
In Reading the Silver Screen, readers will gain the expertise and confidence to glean all they can from the movies they love.
About the Author
Thomas C. Foster, author of How to Read Literature Like a Professor and Reading the Silver Screen, is professor emeritus of English at the University of Michigan, Flint, where he taught classes in contemporary fiction, drama, and poetry, as well as creative writing and freelance writing. He is also the author of several books on 20th-century British and Irish literature and poetry.
“[One of] This Seasons Best Books on Hollywood”
— The New York Times Book Review
We need more books like Thomas Foster’s Reading the Silver Screen. A book like this one helps to bridge gaps between academic study and general knowledge. In this case, however, it also offers an important corrective for academic study.