Film as Art

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In the fall of 1957 the University of California Press expanded Arnheim’s 1933 book Film by four essays and brought that landmark work back into print as Film as Art. Now nearly fifty years after that re-edition, the book continues to occupy an important place in the literature of film. Arnheim’s method, provocative in this age of technological wizardry, was to focus on the way art in film was derived from that medium’s early limitations: no sound, no color, no three-dimensional depth.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 238 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press; 50th Anniversary Printing edition (March 6, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520248376
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520248373
  • Product Dimensions: 4.5 x 0.8 x 7.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces

Customer Reviews

Five Stars

 on November 15, 2014
By annonymous
Arnheim is a definitive expert on film for me. Hope you also find that to be true.

Four Stars

 on January 3, 2015
By adrienne rozzi
A little esoteric but a good read.

A major contribution to film studies, remains essential for its insights into the nature of cinema

19 people found this helpful.
 on November 7, 2007
By Nate
Read as an essentialist treatise on the nature of film as art, Rudolf Arnheim’s “Film as Art” may feel like something of a dead end or a historical curiosity — there was a period during which some of the major questions for cultural and art critics interested in film were: is film a new art form or does it draw its artistic potential from other more traditional art forms that can be said to be integrated into film? If it is a new form of art what is new about it? how should art critics approach this new medium? To these questions, Arnheim offers a powerful and convincing defense of the idea that film is its own art form, with its own distinctive artistic potential. Now that “we” no longer need to be convinced that film is an art form, or is at least capable of rivalling any other art forms on occasion, his detailed and meticulous argument that draws upon a broad familiarity both with the history and techniques of film to his day may appear dated and reactionary. I think this need to prove that film is an art against a number of prominent art theorists is really what one of the other reviewers (“vampyroboy,” in an otherwise quite interesting review) is detecting when he describes the book as characterized by “self-hatred.”

a Very insightful theory about film studies!

10 people found this helpful.
 on February 25, 2003
By Mihai N Anton
This book must be read by anyone with interests in film critiques and in Cinema in general.Arnheim argued that film comes from limitations , and ideed, I believe that he was absolutely right. Because film is not an unique art, but is builded up from other fields. The first thing that an artist must know is that you always have to leave something to be interpreted, you have to send a message. And how can you do that if you show everything?How can you possibly consider art something that does not need interptretation? Because like Arnheim said “what does not have a meaning has no place in art” Indeed, in his book , he explains that the composition of the film must be intermetiated between the margins of the screen. Also, that the black and white image is far superior to the coloured one.And here you can ask yourselves that how it is possible that the black & white photography is still used even nowadays? I believe that anyone interested in film should read this book.

Eye-opening analysis of the perceptual dynamics of film

11 people found this helpful.
 on September 1, 1999
An amazing analysis of the perceptual principles involved in film viewing. Arnheim provides a fascinating and scholarly look at the psychological and physiological aspects of cinema. A profound and thought-provoking work.

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