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Cinema: The Whole Story

Philip Kemp


An accessible and vibrant guide to the history of cinema all over the world, from its inception to the latest blockbuster

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Cinema: The Whole Story takes a close look at the key time periods, genres and key works in world cinema. It places the burgeoning world of cinema in the context of social and cultural developments that have taken place since its beginnings. Organized chronologically, the book traces the evolution of cinematic development, from the earliest days of film projection to the multiscreen cinemas and super-technology of today. Illustrated, in-depth texts chart every genre of cinema, from silent films to epic blockbusters, CGI graphics and the groundbreaking effects of the 21st century, while timelines highlight key influences and events across the decades.

Written by an international team of film experts, led by film historian Philip Kemp, the book not only surveys key works, but also offers insights into the world of film-making, exploring everything from camera and lighting to acting styles, enabling you to interpret the full meaning of world-famous movies. Discover what makes a star, what makes a film a success – and why even the most promising of ideas can prove an expensive disaster.

If you love cinema and would like to know more about it, look no further than Cinema: The Whole Story. It is an indispensable book for all those who love watching and reading about films, and who want to understand more about the international world of cinema.

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'As you’d expect from Thames & Hudson, Cinema: The Whole Story combines high production values and a generous selection of colour stills with a sensible price tag … truly impressive, with much to offer for the novice and the jaded aficionado'
Sight & Sound

'A great introduction to cinema’s long and varied tale, remaining well-written, accessible and clearly laid-out throughout'

'May just be the only book on a massive subject you’ll ever need'
Bafta online

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Further Details


Format: Flexibound PLC (with jacket)

Size: 24.5 x 17.2 cm

Extent: 576 pp

Publication date: 19 September 2011

ISBN: 9780500289471

Contents List

1. 1900–29 • 2. 1930–39 • 3. 1940–59 • 4. The 1960s • 5. 1970–79 • 6. 1990–2010

About the Author

Philip Kemp teaches Film Journalism at Leicester and Middlesex Universities and is the author of Lethal Innocence: The Cinema of Alexander Mackendrick and of a study of Satyajit Ray’s Apu Trilogy.

Sir Christopher Frayling is perhaps the most wide-ranging cultural historian of our times: the author of numerous publications on subjects ranging from vampires to Westerns; the writer and presenter of successful television series, whether on advertising, the Middle Ages or Tutankhamun. He is a Fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge, and was Rector of the Royal College of Art, London, from 1996 to 2009, where he remains Professor Emeritus of Cultural History. His many public appointments have included Chairman of Arts Council England; Chairman of the Design Council; and the longest-serving Trustee of the Victoria and Albert Museum.

List of Contributors

Sir Christopher Frayling