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Understanding Movies


This is a small introduction that we dedicated to Understanding Movies book and to the great Louis Giannetti, a Proffessor of English and Film at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. He has written about movies for such scholarly journals as Literature/Film Quarterly, The Western Humanities Review and Film Criticism. He is the author several books in Cinema theory: Godard and Others: Essays on Film Form, Masters of the American Cinema, Flashback: A Brief History of Film and Understanding Movies.

«Even before the turn of the last century, movies began to develop in two major directions: the realistic and the formalistic. In the mid-1890’s, in France, the Luimière brothers delighted audiences with their short movies dealing with everyday ocurrences. Such films as The Arrival of a Train,  fascinated viewers precisely because they seemed to captured the flux and spontaneity of events as they were viewed in real life. At about the same time, Georges Méliès was creating a number of fantasy films that emphasized purely imagined events. Such movies as A Trip To The Moon were typical mixtures of whimsical narrative and trick photography…

Realism and formalism are general rather than absolute terms. When used to suggest a tendency toward either polarity, such levels can be helpful, but in the end they are just labels. Few movies are exclusively formalist in style, and fewer yet are completely realist»…


We recommend, that if you are a fan of the cinema, do not miss this great reading,

Short Films & Future Films,

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