Reddit reviews: The best movie history & criticism books

We found 17 Reddit comments discussing the best movie history & criticism books. We ran sentiment analysis on each of these comments to determine how redditors feel about different products. We found 11 products and ranked them based on the amount of positive reactions they received. Here are the top 20.

Top Reddit comments about Movie History & Criticism:

u/Titan897 · 1 pointr/comicbooks

>Here’s a link that explains the Wally Wood guide a bit more.

That's a real interesting read, I was actually just reading about Cerebus the other day too.

>The most helpful book I’m reading currently is “Save the Cat! Writes a Novel” . Basically a more in depth, beat by beat structure book. Written for novelists, but inspired by a very successful screenwriting book.
>All that formatting stuff I’ve mentioned I’ve pulled from the web as needed. Kind of teaching myself as I go along and there hasn’t been any breakout book other than Saves the Cat.

You should check out Story by Robert McKee and [Into The Woods by John Yorke.] (https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/0141978104/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_dtUyDb1953H7P) The former is a very highly recommended book on /r/screenwriting and the latter, I was given by my media lecturer and I am absolutely loving just now. In particular, the characterisation chapters are very helpful.

>I’m learning nobody does this stuff the same way. I am a highly obsessive dude so those sluglines are just my way of doing shit that most people are comfortable with keeping in their head.
>I’m so paranoid I’ll forget something, or forget to mark how I wanted a composition to look. Then I’ll spend hours...days...stuck on a panel that I could have figured out in a script.

On the one hand, I love how freeform and unique comics scripting is. On the other, I'm also a highly obsessive dude and I'm sometimes paralysed with indecision and end up procrastinating about writing. Maybe I should look into something more regimented, could solve a problem.

u/OwenKetillson · 2 pointsr/TrueFilm

Those are good books but any particular one might be a little narrow focused for someone trying to get a kind of catch all beginning. If you like book learning I would more suggest a book like this. This particular one is commonly used to teach first year film studies in university classes. It gives a nice blend of instruction like "this is editing", "this is direction" etc... and instruction on film appreciation. I promise that you will learn a lot more form watching film with even a little guidance on film appreciation and how to watch movies more actively.

u/[deleted] · 2 pointsr/IWantToLearn

If you are wanting to just do movie reviews like you read in the paper, you just need to be more attuned to how a movie affects you and think about why: were the characters engaging? Was the conflict interesting? Did the film display good technical craftsmanship (blocking, cinematography, costuming, set-design, etc.)? Knowing how movies are made will help you see them in a different light.

Kind of on the opposite end of the spectrum of the movie review are the more theoretical essays. These are more philosophical in nature and have to do with how films relate to reality, the psychology and social functions of movies, the economics of movies, etc. To do this, you need broader knowledge of subjects in the humanities and to a lesser extent the social sciences.

In between the movie review and the theoretical essay is the critical essay. This is more in depth than the movie review and aims to reveal subtitles and complexities that may have escaped the viewer on the first viewing; its goal is to "read between the lines." There isn't a cut and dry formula for doing this, but you can loosely follow these four steps: Describe, Analyze, Interpret, Judge First, you will need to just describe what you saw: what events took place? Who were the characters? How were they portrayed? Were the shot in close-ups, long shots? What style did the film use? The most important question: What were the conflicts in the film, where was the tension? Second, you will analyze. This is where you look for patterns, motifs, symbolism, irony etc. Think about how characters react to the conflicts given to them. It helps to have a knowledge of similar movies to the one you are watching so you can see how they differ in treating the subject material. Third, you will interpret. This is where you ascribe meaning to the patterns. Why did the characters respond the way they did to the conflict and what does this say about their beliefs, world view, "way of seeing," etc? What lesson does this teach? Finally, you will Judge which is where you "talk back" to the message of the film. Was it a good lesson or bad? Was it conveyed effectively? What does this film say about the values of the culture that produced it?

If you want a good, easy to read introductory book on the topic, I recommend this.

u/half_truths_at_best · 2 pointsr/TrueFilm

Personally, I've thought of The Cinema Book as something to be read more as a reference book (or a series of short introductory guides), rather than a overall narrative... which is to say that you dip into the sections that cover topics that interest you, rather than from cover to cover. IIRC each section also has a decent bibliography, so you have further reading if you find that, say, film noir interests you and you want to find out more.

If you're interested in more of an overview of cinema as a long narrative, I'd recommend Mark Cousins' wonderful The Story of Film. A couple of years ago it became a great telly series, but before that it was a really interesting book. The book goes through film broadly chronologically, and still has Cousins' characteristic enthusiasm, knowledge and charm, but without his strong accent, which could be difficult to understand depending on your level of knowledge of English.

More generally, take a look at Sight and Sound magazine's book poll, which they did in a similar way to their famous once-per-decade film polls.

u/mushpuppy · 3 pointsr/flicks

I dunno about sites/blogs, but the best single book I've ever read about film is Story by Robert McKee. I'd recommend it to every fan of film and every would-be writer of any type.

u/lithium_violet_no9 · 36 pointsr/AskWomen

I mean, let us take for example my old community, pure mathematics. Unless you're close to Perelman in personality, fashion-sense, and grooming, you're going to have a rough time at the top schools. Tho it isn't said aloud, femininity is scorned fierce in the mathematics world. Heck I could link to this research book on femininity, mathematics and science which will give more than amble historical evidence. (I think it's a great read for fellow STEM feminists btw). Mathematics has always been considered "uber masculine" and those in it, albeit not some militant "alpha," are "alpha" nerds. Plus, math along with physics are often looked up to by the entire STEM world as "the way to be;" along with that comes the subtle things, like shunning femininity and also female and non-male bodies in general. Like STEM itself, these are global phenomena and just because a country is "equal" doesn't mean it can make equal the global communities over the top of it that weave in and out of it connecting to the rest of the world.

u/queenatstormsend · 2 pointsr/CasualConversation

Strong recommendation for David Mitchell's The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet (Dutch clerk in late 18th/early 19th century Dejima, lots of depth, gorgeous prose) and for Walter Moers's Rumo and his Miraculous Adventures (fantastical but oddly profound; I'd pick it up even if it doesn't sound like something you'd enjoy). I finished both of these very recently and they were amazing. They hopped right on my list of favourite books, if I'm honest.

Otherwise, I'd very much recommend my all-time favourites: Le Petit Prince (in French or English), Under Milk Wood, Cloud Atlas, and To Kill a Mockingbird (which is always worth a re-read, too).

I included Amazon links so that you know exactly which books I'm talking about, but please consider buying from local bookshops!

u/incnc · 14 pointsr/Filmmakers

Do NOT go into debt for film school.

If it is payed for, then sure, it should be a lot of fun. But your reel already surpasses 95% of what I see from students who have already graduated film school.

If you are taking out money to go to film school.... dont. Student loan payments are one of the biggest obstacles when trying to launch a freelance career. Also, a film degree doesnt mean dick to most people in this industry. Unless you want to have a 9-5 at a studio or something. And thats stupid.

Use the money to:

  1. live for a year without having to take a job and start working for free on any set you can get on. This type of education far exceeds anything you will glean at a film school. By the end of the year you should have been


  2. use the money to make a low-budget feature. Your photography is already strong, now go buy:






    Absorb. Read again. Then write and shoot your own movies. It will cost less than film school, it will be MORE fun than listening to failed film makers telling you how to make movies, and it could potentially launch your career.

    Also, if you are ever in New Orleans, PM me and I will buy you a beer.
u/Cigaroot · 3 pointsr/reddeadredemption

It looks like Boilerplate, the hero from a comic about a fictional steampunk robot that was supposedly involved in a number of historical adventures.




u/Prezbo · -1 pointsr/videos

>When we pick up the story with the Tenenbaums as adults, they ARE irrelevant.

I think you misunderstand me (or are misrepresenting me). I meant we no longer care about the characters, and that they are irrelevant because of this. If you don't care about the characters you can't care about the film.

Making the audience not care about the characters, because their early life was glanced over with a detached voice-over, doesn't say anything about the character's disinterest in life. It only tells us about the scriptwriters disinterest (or laziness, or incompetence).

>There is no 'method of story telling' that is inherently lazy.

Yes there is:

  • Montage sequence to explain exposition
  • Voice-over to explain exposition
  • Creating a character just for them to listen to the protagonist's problems (exposition)
  • Having the actors explain exposition to the camera
  • Having a character say: "How long have we know each other?"

    Etc, etc. There are loads more, but I don't have my copy of Story with me.

    >It can all work with the right writing and the writers of Royal Tenenbaums knew exactly what they were doing.

    They definitely knew what they were doing, they wanted to get the story going quickly. The intro is just exposition and it's best to get it over with quickly. All I'm saying is there are better ways of doing it, ways that are more engaging and emotive. Using voice-over distracts the audience from the characters. It is by far the easiest way of doing it but it is also the least effective. It is lazy.

    >I can understand why someone might not like the movie, but calling it incompetent and lazy is asinine.

    I hope I've convinced you otherwise. If I haven't, I strongly recommend you read Story.
u/dayamax · 2 pointsr/TrueFilm

Excellent post. Just wanted to add that this book is an excellent resource if you want to read about Ray's ideas on cinema. Some of these essays were written almost half a century ago, and yet they still very relevant today (regarding the problems an Indian filmmaker faces if he wants to make serious films).

u/elchicodebarba · 3 pointsr/portugal

Storytelling, com que propósito?

Não sei se terá a ver com o que procuras mas recomendo estes dois livros.

Story e The Eye Is Quicker.

Certamente mais baratos que esse "curso".

u/Jeff_Daboss · 1 pointr/PrequelMemes

Star Wars, the essential guide to warfare is a good book, but it mostly covers military history and therefore may be of limited use, but does cover the entire history of the republic

Edit: link https://www.amazon.co.uk/Star-Wars-Essential-Guide-Warfare/dp/1781161402