Film is the most successful entertainment medium of the century. Yet few critics have been able to analyse its many facets and functions. From the reviewer who reports on film to the theoretician whose in-depth categorisations and intellectualisations confuse rather than enlighten, writing about films has not yet achieved a useful critical apparatus.
Judith Williamson has over then years collected a body of work on film that is both popular in its review function, but which, at the same time, critically examines the medium of film - as entertainment, instruction and measure of cultural values.
In this, her third book, Judith Williamson is once again loosely concerned with the nature of popular culture. She asks what films are for, who they are for, what are the ways of looking at different kinds of films - from the vastly expensive mega-production to avant-garde and workshop films. She examines the politics of film-making and asks in what way is film different from other media, how and where does it work, spatially, aurally, graphically, in the theatre, on TV? And how does it build on its own history as a visual form?
The essays collected together here, some written for this volume, some garnered from her columns in The New Statesman, City Limits and Time Out, some scripts from her own television and lecture appearances, give a wide sweep of facts and ideas on film and film-making. The addition of a comprehensive reference section makes this also a highly accessible source of information for anyone interested in cinema.
About the Author
Judith Williamson started as a film critic on Time Out and helped to found City Limits magazine, where she worked in the film section, before becoming the weekly film columnist on The New Statesman. Her earlier work includes the vastly successful Decoding Advertisements and Consuming Passions and the film A Sign is a Fine Investment. She lives in London where she works as a writer and teaches at Middlesex University. She also lectures regularly in Britain. North America and other parts of the world.