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Talking Pictures: How to Watch Movies
(Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read)

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Published:
Basic Books 2017
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Available from OverDrive
Description
A veteran film critic offers a lively, opinionated guide to thinking and talking about movies — from Casablanca to Clueless
Whether we are trying to impress a date after an art house film screening or discussing Oscar nominations among friends, we all need ways to look at and talk about movies. But with so much variety between an Alfred Hitchcock thriller and a Nora Ephron romantic comedy, how can everyday viewers determine what makes a good movie?
In Talking Pictures, veteran film critic Ann Hornaday walks us through the production of a typical movie — from script and casting to final sound edit — and explains how to evaluate each piece of the process. How do we know if a film has been well-written, above and beyond snappy dialogue? What constitutes a great screen performance? What goes into praiseworthy cinematography, editing, and sound design? And what does a director really do? In a new epilogue, Hornaday addresses important questions of representation in film and the industry and how this can, and should, effect a movie-watching experience. Full of engaging anecdotes and interviews with actors and filmmakers, Talking Pictures will help us see movies in a whole new light-not just as fans, but as film critics in our own right.
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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
06/13/2017
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780465094240
ASIN:
B01LY2IJD8
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Ann Hornaday. (2017). Talking Pictures: How to Watch Movies. Basic Books.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Ann Hornaday. 2017. Talking Pictures: How to Watch Movies. Basic Books.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Ann Hornaday, Talking Pictures: How to Watch Movies. Basic Books, 2017.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Ann Hornaday. Talking Pictures: How to Watch Movies. Basic Books, 2017.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2022. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Added:
Jun 12, 2018 15:33:25
Date Updated:
Dec 06, 2020 02:41:08
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A veteran film critic offers a lively, opinionated guide to thinking and talking about movies — from Casablanca to Clueless
Whether we are trying to impress a date after an art house film screening or discussing Oscar nominations among friends, we all need ways to look at and talk about movies. But with so much variety between an Alfred Hitchcock thriller and a Nora Ephron romantic comedy, how can everyday viewers determine what makes a good movie?
In Talking Pictures, veteran film critic Ann Hornaday walks us through the production of a typical movie — from script and casting to final sound edit — and explains how to evaluate each piece of the process. How do we know if a film has been well-written, above and beyond snappy dialogue? What constitutes a great screen performance? What goes into praiseworthy cinematography, editing, and sound design? And what does a director really do? In a new epilogue, Hornaday addresses important questions of representation in film and the industry and how this can, and should, effect a movie-watching experience. Full of engaging anecdotes and interviews with actors and filmmakers, Talking Pictures will help us see movies in a whole new light-not just as fans, but as film critics in our own right.
reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        April 3, 2017
        Washington Post film critic Hornaday’s new book gives the reader tools for watching films more intentionally and with more discerning taste. Breaking down a film into separate components—screenplay, acting, production design, cinematography, editing, sound and music, and direction—she emphasizes the importance of taking a critical perspective. In each section she poses several key questions for readers to ask themselves: in the screenplay section, “Did the story ‘want’ to be a movie?”, and under production design, “Are the colors helping to tell the story, or are they providing quote marks around emotions and information that are already perfectly clear?” For direction, “Whose eyes did we see the world through?” Together these highlight both the project’s value and its chief flaw: systematically evaluating films requires a toolset like the one Hornaday provides, but also a level of active engagement many viewers are not accustomed to. Further emphasis could have been placed on this challenge, though Hornaday does state, “The days of passive viewing are over.” Her philosophy is that nothing happens in filmmaking by accident, and so “the least the rest of us can do is notice.” Agent: Rafe Sagalyn, ICM/Sagalyn.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        April 15, 2017
        A film critic for the Washington Post offers advice on watching movies.Hornaday isn't the first to write a primer about critically assessing films instead of subjectively responding to them as simply good or bad. Avoiding critical jargon, she hopes to guide novice viewers into "appreciating movies more fully when they succeed, and for explaining their missteps when they fall short." She has conducted extensive interviews with film folk over the years, which adds an informed, insider's quality to her discussions. Hornaday smartly divides the book into seven sections: screenwriting, acting, production design, cinematography, editing, sound and music, and directing. Within each section, the author poses a number of questions that she then answers ("where was the camera and why was it there?"), giving the book an unfortunate textbook quality. The narrative is also heavily prescriptive. Hornaday is quick to give her likes and dislikes: "I've never loved the films of Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu...credibility might be the chief problem." On acting, "the most fundamental element of cinematic grammar," she cites John Sayles: "casting the right actors is easily 90 percent of the [director's] job." But mistakes are made. Cameron Diaz was "fatally miscast" in The Gangs of New York. One of the stronger sections is production design, often overlooked by general moviegoers. It encompasses backdrops, locations, sets, props, costumes, hair, and makeup. Done well, writes the author, it establishes "the overall look of a film, the sense of richness, texture, and detail." In the cinematography section, Hornaday confesses that one of the "few things I truly despise in life...[is] 3-D." She was "awed" by Sandra Adair's editing work in Boyhood; Raging Bull and GoodFellas are "masterpieces of editing and rhythm." The section on sound and music is also good, the one on directing poor, and because the author's picks are very American-centric, the book's scope is limited. If uninspiring, this is a user-friendly, nonintimidating guide to appreciating movies.

        COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        May 1, 2017
        Hornaday, a film critic at the Washington Post, breaks movies into their component parts and identifies what critics and audiences look forthe elements that distinguish good movies from bad. The book is broken into seven sections: screenplay, acting, production design, cinematography, editing, sound and music, and directing. How much does a screenplay determine the final look and feel of a movie (you might be surprised)? How much can a miscast actor affect the success of a film? Does a movie have a fresh look, or does it feel like a rehash of things we've seen before? Is the editing choppy and incoherent, or do the images and scenes flow together naturally? How does a director stage a scene? Does he move the camera because the scene demands it or because he's being showy (beware, Hornaday says, of scenes in which the camera tracks endless circles around two people who are simply talking)? A successful movie, she concludes, is a combination of many elements working harmoniously. A master class in filmmaking and a celebration of why we love the movies.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2017, American Library Association.)

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A veteran film critic offers a lively, opinionated guide to thinking and talking about movies — from Casablanca to Clueless
Whether we are trying to impress a date after an art house film screening or discussing Oscar nominations among friends, we all need ways to look at and talk about movies. But with so much variety between an Alfred Hitchcock thriller and a Nora Ephron romantic comedy, how can everyday viewers determine what makes a good movie?
In Talking Pictures, veteran film critic Ann Hornaday walks us through the production of a typical movie — from script and casting to final sound edit — and explains how to evaluate each piece of the process. How do we know if a film has been well-written, above and beyond snappy dialogue? What constitutes a great screen performance? What goes into praiseworthy cinematography, editing, and sound design? And what does a director really do? In a new epilogue, Hornaday addresses important questions of...
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