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

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14 lectures on 7 compact discs 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 14 lectures on 7 compact discs 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. Lecture 1 The Origins of Cinema and the Grammar of Film Lecture 2 Film Imagery and the Theory of Montage Lecture 3 Storytelling in the 1930s and Stagecoach Lecture 4 Citizen Kane: An American Masterpiece Lecture 5 World War II and the Cinema of Community: Casablanca; Now, Voyager; and It's a Wonderful Life Lecture 6 Noir and Neorealism: Bicycle Thieves and On the Waterfront Lecture 7 Love and the Mirror of Death: Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo Lecture 8 Widescreen: The World Writ Large and Intimate: The Apartment Lecture 9 The New Wave in France: The 400 Blows and Week-end Lecture 10 The American New Wave I: Politics and Family: The Godfather Lecture 11 The American New Wave II: The Social Canvas: Nashville Lecture 12 The Rule of the Blockbuster: Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark Lecture 13 Gender, Race, and the Varieties of Cinematic Experience: Vagabond, Do the Right Thing, and Lone Star Lecture 14 The Contemporary Maverick: Goodfellas, Million Dollar Baby, Persepolis from www.learnoutloud.com


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14 lectures on 7 compact discs 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 14 lectures on 7 compact discs 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. Lecture 1 The Origins of Cinema and the Grammar of Film Lecture 2 Film Imagery and the Theory of Montage Lecture 3 Storytelling in the 1930s and Stagecoach Lecture 4 Citizen Kane: An American Masterpiece Lecture 5 World War II and the Cinema of Community: Casablanca; Now, Voyager; and It's a Wonderful Life Lecture 6 Noir and Neorealism: Bicycle Thieves and On the Waterfront Lecture 7 Love and the Mirror of Death: Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo Lecture 8 Widescreen: The World Writ Large and Intimate: The Apartment Lecture 9 The New Wave in France: The 400 Blows and Week-end Lecture 10 The American New Wave I: Politics and Family: The Godfather Lecture 11 The American New Wave II: The Social Canvas: Nashville Lecture 12 The Rule of the Blockbuster: Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark Lecture 13 Gender, Race, and the Varieties of Cinematic Experience: Vagabond, Do the Right Thing, and Lone Star Lecture 14 The Contemporary Maverick: Goodfellas, Million Dollar Baby, Persepolis from www.learnoutloud.com

30 review for Understanding Movies: The Art and History of Film (The Modern Scholar)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Laurel

    As a young teen, I first saw the movie A Room with A View in an old town hall theater built in the 1880's. It changed how I viewed film. It was the first time I realized that movies were not just about entertainment, but about art as well. I became intrigued by the subtleties of cinematography, editing, direction, costumes and high quality acting. I started watching old, classic black and white movies like Citizen Kane, and was particularly intrigued by foreign and independent film. I even took As a young teen, I first saw the movie A Room with A View in an old town hall theater built in the 1880's. It changed how I viewed film. It was the first time I realized that movies were not just about entertainment, but about art as well. I became intrigued by the subtleties of cinematography, editing, direction, costumes and high quality acting. I started watching old, classic black and white movies like Citizen Kane, and was particularly intrigued by foreign and independent film. I even took a couple analytical film classes in college. When I became ill with a neuro-immune disease 14 years ago, I never imagined it would get to a point where I could no longer watch TV or rent movies. However, due to the sensory overload challenges I face daily, I have been unable to see a movie in 10 years. I miss it immensely. This audio lecture allowed me to venture back into that world again in some small way. Even though I hadn't seen all the films being analyzed, I thoroughly enjoyed the discussions. Much like a novel, part of what makes a film so great is not just the overall pleasure of experiencing it, but breaking it down and analyzing all the various parts that make it remarkable as a whole. This 14 part lecture was a thoroughly interesting look at the history and art of film-making -- from silent movies to the modern day blockbuster. I particularly enjoyed the discussion on Hitchcock's films. Recommended for any movie lover.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Julie Davis

    I really learned a lot from this class. The teacher has an mild-mannered, personable style that I enjoyed a lot and his own love of movies came through clearly though he never allowed his own preferences to overpower the commentary. This is only available as an audio class and there are a lot of negative remarks about sound quality on Audible. The sound must have been cleaned up at some time because I didn't hear any of the problems mentioned. This was delightful if you like movies. I really learned a lot from this class. The teacher has an mild-mannered, personable style that I enjoyed a lot and his own love of movies came through clearly though he never allowed his own preferences to overpower the commentary. This is only available as an audio class and there are a lot of negative remarks about sound quality on Audible. The sound must have been cleaned up at some time because I didn't hear any of the problems mentioned. This was delightful if you like movies.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Tony

    This is an excellent introductory course on film appreciation. The author presents a chronological treatment of his subject with particular focus on the various film movements--film noir, Italian neo-realism, French new wave, etc. Each topic is covered only superficially, but the curriculum's breadth is quite comprehensive. This is an excellent introductory course on film appreciation. The author presents a chronological treatment of his subject with particular focus on the various film movements--film noir, Italian neo-realism, French new wave, etc. Each topic is covered only superficially, but the curriculum's breadth is quite comprehensive.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Alex

    I don't want to bash this, because I do like it. It is very pleasant. It is a nice tour of movies from 1895 to the present of, I think, 2008. The mid-range evaluation means only that I am following the Goodreads guidelines, meaning I like it. I'm not inflating the evaluation and I'm not sending a crisp signal that I only "like" it. I like it. I have listened to a lot of courses during the past couple of years. This one is good but it is not one that jumps out as remarkable or deep. It is more lik I don't want to bash this, because I do like it. It is very pleasant. It is a nice tour of movies from 1895 to the present of, I think, 2008. The mid-range evaluation means only that I am following the Goodreads guidelines, meaning I like it. I'm not inflating the evaluation and I'm not sending a crisp signal that I only "like" it. I like it. I have listened to a lot of courses during the past couple of years. This one is good but it is not one that jumps out as remarkable or deep. It is more like the pleasure of looking at a family album. In this case, the movies he discusses are like how you know most of the people pictured in the albums. You turn the pages and go. I remember that, Oh, yeah, I haven't thought of that in for ever. Who is that? and so on. The professor is like having an older relative to go through the album with you. He helps provide context and names and stories you didn't know. I'm not saying I didn't learn anything. Most of it was confirmation of my previous experience with movies. And, no, I am not a movie nut. I'm just a guy who likes movies and has watched them throughout my life.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Nicholas Driscoll

    At first the fact that I could often hear the lecturer gulping or drinking really bothered me, but eventually I got used to it. Still, for those who are really annoyed by such things, you are warned. I was surprised since YouTubers don't even have that problem most of the time, and I am paying for these lectures. I listened to these lectures in hopes of prepping for a class I am teaching, and it wasn't probably very useful for my class, but it was still interesting to get a general overview of so At first the fact that I could often hear the lecturer gulping or drinking really bothered me, but eventually I got used to it. Still, for those who are really annoyed by such things, you are warned. I was surprised since YouTubers don't even have that problem most of the time, and I am paying for these lectures. I listened to these lectures in hopes of prepping for a class I am teaching, and it wasn't probably very useful for my class, but it was still interesting to get a general overview of some of the big trends in the history of cinema. I sometimes felt like we were really just scratching the surface, though, and I wish there had been maybe a few more lectures and maybe a little less discussion of individual movies. Shargel also is pretty disdainful of action movies and films he thinks are not "serious," and so blockbusters get a lot of black looks from him. There is very little discussion of genre pictures, like horror and sci-fi or even animation. I sometimes go the sense he was looking down his nose at those kinds of films, which really disappointed me. Still, I enjoyed listening.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Robert

    Mundane audio course on understanding film. No big revelations, surprise films, or significant insights. Shargel at least did agree with me that films get made four times: the writer, the director, the editor, and the audience. He didn't quite mention all those stages, but he did comment on how each viewer creates their own interpretation of a film during and after viewing it. The lists of additional films and a bibliography are fine. Apparently, there is even a "final exam" available on the web Mundane audio course on understanding film. No big revelations, surprise films, or significant insights. Shargel at least did agree with me that films get made four times: the writer, the director, the editor, and the audience. He didn't quite mention all those stages, but he did comment on how each viewer creates their own interpretation of a film during and after viewing it. The lists of additional films and a bibliography are fine. Apparently, there is even a "final exam" available on the website, if one wants to test what they might remember about the lectures. Beyond that, only interested film views, with some experience of critical film viewing should bother with this.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Liz

    This is a very good survey course on film appreciation. I like Shargel's style, approach and voice--I listened to this on audible--and found all of his lectures interesting. Exactly what I was looking for. This is a very good survey course on film appreciation. I like Shargel's style, approach and voice--I listened to this on audible--and found all of his lectures interesting. Exactly what I was looking for.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    Very entertaining lecture, though it's more of a history of cinema than an introduction to the language/technique of studying cinema. Very entertaining lecture, though it's more of a history of cinema than an introduction to the language/technique of studying cinema.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kiera Beddes

    Really excellent series of lectures covering the history and art of film. Each lecture focused on a particular movement and technique used with an exemplar. Nice foundational starting point.

  10. 4 out of 5

    John

    Listening to this 14-lecture course is a worthy substitute for attending a film class at a good college. After presenting a bit of film theory and practice, Shargel hits the usual highlights of Western cinema, including the German expressionists, Italian neorealists, and the French new wave. He focuses on representative movies from Stagecoach to Persepolis, and directors from D. W. Griffith to Clint Eastwood. He touches briefly on "gender" and "race", meaning movies by women and blacks. Shargel Listening to this 14-lecture course is a worthy substitute for attending a film class at a good college. After presenting a bit of film theory and practice, Shargel hits the usual highlights of Western cinema, including the German expressionists, Italian neorealists, and the French new wave. He focuses on representative movies from Stagecoach to Persepolis, and directors from D. W. Griffith to Clint Eastwood. He touches briefly on "gender" and "race", meaning movies by women and blacks. Shargel doesn't say much about Asian cinema or American cinema from outside the U.S. I would say he overpraises the "American New Wave" movies of the 70s. Still, this is an enjoyable set of lectures.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Tim

    The Professor was good enough, I suppose, it's just that the information he presented was too basic for me, as I already have considerable knowledge of film history and the great directors, etc. (not trying to brag here, just saying that this would probably work better for someone who is more of a beginner when it comes to learning about films). Since each lecture is only 30 minutes long, he is only really able to touch lightly upon some quintessential films of each of the major eras and genres The Professor was good enough, I suppose, it's just that the information he presented was too basic for me, as I already have considerable knowledge of film history and the great directors, etc. (not trying to brag here, just saying that this would probably work better for someone who is more of a beginner when it comes to learning about films). Since each lecture is only 30 minutes long, he is only really able to touch lightly upon some quintessential films of each of the major eras and genres in cinema. And most of the films he chooses are pretty obvious ones (Citizen Kane, The Godfather, and so on), so there won't be many surprises here for seasoned film buffs, unfortunately.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Alex

    A couple things would make this lecture series significantly better. Sound Editors should have been used to clip out unnatural pauses and to clip the segments at better locations. Also, the omnipresent swallowing and drinking should be clipped out. Or get a better mic that clips that off for you. Also, the lecturer's unvarnished loathing of blockbusters bordered on offensive. If you hate Star Wars and what it stands for, cover a blockbuster that 1.) you've given adequate scholarly attention to ana A couple things would make this lecture series significantly better. Sound Editors should have been used to clip out unnatural pauses and to clip the segments at better locations. Also, the omnipresent swallowing and drinking should be clipped out. Or get a better mic that clips that off for you. Also, the lecturer's unvarnished loathing of blockbusters bordered on offensive. If you hate Star Wars and what it stands for, cover a blockbuster that 1.) you've given adequate scholarly attention to analyze and 2.) that you actually like. With all the blockbusters to choose from, I'm sure there's got to be one. Maybe not many more than that, but at least try.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Andy

    With only seven discs, Shargel doesn't have much time to cover the vastness of film history, but he barely covers international film at all. If that's your focus, then call it "The Art and History of American Film." Shargel covers the larger trends (he does mention a few international trends, such as the French New Wave and German Expressionism), yet spends an inordinate amount of time on Clint Eastwood as a director and the "violence" in the Star Wars and Indiana Jones movies. Really? Give me a With only seven discs, Shargel doesn't have much time to cover the vastness of film history, but he barely covers international film at all. If that's your focus, then call it "The Art and History of American Film." Shargel covers the larger trends (he does mention a few international trends, such as the French New Wave and German Expressionism), yet spends an inordinate amount of time on Clint Eastwood as a director and the "violence" in the Star Wars and Indiana Jones movies. Really? Give me a break!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jeroen Berndsen

    I've listened to these lectures between two and three times. Besides being very knowleadgeable, Shargel has a pretty good speaking voice and a pleasant talking speed for listening to. While not offering a broad history of film (this cannot be done in this timeframe), Shargel does offer a very good introduction to understanding the history of cinema and understanding and appreciating films in general. This makes it a very appealing listen for newcomers, but there is also enough less known materia I've listened to these lectures between two and three times. Besides being very knowleadgeable, Shargel has a pretty good speaking voice and a pleasant talking speed for listening to. While not offering a broad history of film (this cannot be done in this timeframe), Shargel does offer a very good introduction to understanding the history of cinema and understanding and appreciating films in general. This makes it a very appealing listen for newcomers, but there is also enough less known material to appease the seasoned filmbuff. If only there was more...

  15. 5 out of 5

    Nadine Al lahham

    In many fields, we need a book that can be the key to the general understanding of this field where we can boost our interest for further information on cinema. This book is the real key to understand the general history of cinema. Brief, academic, informative, and filled with references of books, links, and movies. What more can you ask for?

  16. 5 out of 5

    Lauri

    I am really enjoying listening to this college professor's lectures on film. I keep a pad and pen in the car to jot down movies to see when I get to a red light. The list includes some silent films, a few black and whites, a Hitchcock or two and some I need to see with new eyes. I will happily share the list if requested. I am really enjoying listening to this college professor's lectures on film. I keep a pad and pen in the car to jot down movies to see when I get to a red light. The list includes some silent films, a few black and whites, a Hitchcock or two and some I need to see with new eyes. I will happily share the list if requested.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Brian

    The professor clearly showed his love of movies and its history. Telling a story visually is not easy and it was nice to hear the background; the variety; and the enjoyment of movies. Well worth the time.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Paulette

    Needed a good cd set for my trip to Bemidji this weekend. Interesting lectures. From silent movies to blockbusters.

  19. 4 out of 5

    فلاح رحيم

    A wonderful guide to choose the worthiest movies to watch in the history of Western cinema.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Markus

  21. 5 out of 5

    Garrett Bentzler

  22. 4 out of 5

    spoko

  23. 4 out of 5

    Lewis Graham

  24. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

  25. 4 out of 5

    Chris

  26. 4 out of 5

    Nick

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kristin

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kierkegaard's Pancakes

  29. 4 out of 5

    Zsófi

  30. 4 out of 5

    Bruno

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