Book Review: ‘Film Studies: An Introduction’ by Warren Buckland

Film Studies: An Introduction was also previously released under the title Understand Film Studies: A Teach Yourself Guide. I found that out when I bought both books, not realizing that they were one in the same.

I have been reading a lot of books on the subject of film, lately. In regards to the actual study of films, this is the best book I have come across, thus far.

Most of the stuff I have already reviewed is great for the points I made when I wrote about them. This book, however, really simplifies things and is much more layman in its approach without making the reader feel stupid in the process.

Film Studies: An Introduction is incredibly straightforward. It also hits a lot of points without being too drawn out. It’s refreshing how simple and straight to the point this book is.

The book starts by talking about mise-en-scene, mise-en-shot, sound and general film aesthetics. It follows that up with chapters about narrative and what it means to be an auteur. It defines genres and film styles within the genres it covers. It discusses documentary filmmaking and the different types of documentary styles. The book then finishes with a chapter about the reception of film by discussing the functions and components of film reviewing.

If I were to ever teach a basic introductory film course, this book would be required reading. It hits the important notes in the best way and leaves out a lot of the extra fluff that is found in most books on the subject.

Rating: 6/10