A Short History of Film, A Short History of Film, 0813560551, 0-8135-6055-1, 978-0-8135-6055-7, 9780813560557, , , A Short History of Film, 0813560578, 0-8135-6057-8, 978-0-8135-6057-1, 9780813560571, , , A Short History of Film, 0813582431, 0-8135-8243-1, 978-0-8135-8243-6, 9780813582436,
A Short History of Film

Wheeler Winston Dixon (Author), Gwendolyn Audrey Foster (Author)
Second Edition
496 pages, 12-pp color insert/ 255 illustrations, 7 x 10
Paper, February 2013 $32.95   ADD TO CART
Web PDF, February 2013 $32.95   EBOOK VERSION AVAILABLE
epub, February 2013 $32.95   EBOOK VERSION AVAILABLE
Subject Area:
Film, Media Studies, and Communications
A Choice Magazine Significant University Press Titles for Undergraduates, 2012-2013


A Short History of Film, Second Edition, provides a concise and accurate overview of the history of world cinema, detailing the major movements, directors, studios, and genres from 1896 through 2012. Accompanied by more than 250 rare color and black-and-white stills—including many from recent films—the new edition is unmatched in its panoramic view, conveying a sense of cinema's sweep in the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries as it is practiced in the United States and around the world.

Wheeler Winston Dixon and Gwendolyn Audrey Foster present new and amended coverage of the industry in addition to updating the birth and death dates and final works of notable directors. Their expanded focus on key films brings the book firmly into the digital era and chronicles the death of film as a production medium.

The book takes readers through the invention of the kinetoscope, the introduction of sound and color between the two world wars, and ultimately the computer-generated imagery of the present day. It details significant periods in world cinema, including the early major industries in Europe, the dominance of the Hollywood studio system in the 1930s and 1940s, and the French New Wave of the 1960s. Attention is given to small independent efforts in developing nations and the more personal independent film movement that briefly flourished in the United States, the significant filmmakers of all nations, and the effects of censorship and regulation on production everywhere. In addition, the authors incorporate the stories of women and other minority filmmakers who have often been overlooked in other texts.

Engaging and accessible, this is the best one-stop source for the history of world film available for students, teachers, and general audiences alike.


"This is the film history book we've been waiting for."
—David Sterritt, chairman, National Society of Film Critics

"A Short History of Film is a comprehensive and detailed overview of the last 100 years of international film history. It will prove to be a useful reference tool for all students of film, both in and out of the classroom."
—Paula J. Massood, Brooklyn College, CUNY

"A new history of international film at an affordable price. Nothing like those text book prices for a change. Includes perspectives on women and minorities in film along with innovations in technology, genres, studios, and conglomerates."
—Stephanie Ogle, Cinema Books

"With the goal of offering 'a fast paced tour' of movie history, Dixon and Foster have produced a study in the tradition of Paul
Rotha's The Film till Now. The authors touch all the bases--they address new trends in international moviemaking, technologies, and critical theory and the emergence of new national and ethnic cinemas--and relate film history to social history. Each new technique, style, school, trend, and newly visible ethnic or feminist group takes its place in the larger history, and Dixon and Foster make it all accessible to the neophyte reader without ever breaking the pace. Uncommonly well-reproduced stills and a topically organized bibliography enhance the discussion. Highly recommended."

"This excellent introduction stands out in a crowded field with its lively, accessible writing, broad coverage, and particular focus on traditionally marginalized figures in film history...the most striking aspect of the book is the coverage of women, African Americans, and Third World filmmakers, which strongly complements its solid coverage of American and European film. Illustrations abound, and even the best-versed cineaste will find new films to track down after reading the breezy, enthusiastic analysis in this book. Highly recommended for all collections, this text would also make an excellent textbook for introductory film-studies courses."
—Library Journal, starred review

Author / Editor Bio

WHEELER WINSTON DIXON is the James Ryan Professor of Film Studies at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. His many books include Death of the Moguls: The End of Classical Hollywood, 21st-Century Hollywood: Movies in the Era of Transformation (coauthored with Gwendolyn Audrey Foster), and A History of Horror (all Rutgers University Press).

GWENDOLYN AUDREY FOSTER is a professor of film studies in the Department of English at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, and with Wheeler Winston Dixon, editor in chief of Quarterly Review of Film and Video. Her many books include 21st-Century Hollywood: Movies in the Era of Transformation (coauthored with Wheeler Winston Dixon) and Class-Passing: Social Mobility in Film and Popular Culture.

Table Of Contents

One- The Invention of the Movies
Two- The Birth of an American Industry
Three- World Cinema: The Silent Era
Four- The Hollywood Studio System in the 1930s and 1940s
Five- International Cinema through World War II
Six- Postwar Challenges to the Movies
Seven- World Cinema in the 1950s
Eight- The 1960s Explosion
Nine- World Cinema 1970 to the Present
Ten- The New Hollywood

Glossary of Film Terms




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Maureen Honey
Anatomy of a Robot
Despina Kakoudaki
Best Years
Charles Affron, Mirella Jona Affron
End of American Lynching
Ashraf H. A. Rushdy