For those with a keen interest in cinema, the internet is a treasure trove of accessible insights into film. Throughout my research for Filmish, I drew on a number of these sources for insight and information.
Every Frame A Painting.
Tony Zhou’s wonderful film analysis series is a joy to watch. Covering everything from the role of silence in the films of Scorcese to the way Michael Bay achieves his signature ‘Bayhem’, these short video essays are informative and addictive.
First and Final Frames.
A fascinating side-by-side comparison of the first and final shots in 55 films. Here the editor demonstrates the enormous amount of thought and planning goes into cinema, and shows us details often missed in the casual watching of a film.
Wes Anderson // Centered.
A short video essay demonstrating the beautiful symmetrical compositions that make Wes Anderson’s movies so visually unique.
Breaking the 4th Wall
This supercut of ‘direct address’ by Leigh Singer is a nice accompaniment to Chapter 1’s section on direct address of the audience by onscreen characters. Singer has also made nice supercuts on the themes of POV and Fast-motion.
ARTICLES & BLOGS
Much of the research for Filmish took place in the library, by consulting online journals, and through searches using Google Books and Google Scholar. However, there were a few key web articles and resources that proved important.
Initial inspiration for the chapter on Sets and Architecture, Geoff Manaugh’s essay ‘Nakatomi Space’ is absolutely worth a read. In the essay Manaugh not only analyses McClane’s traversal of space in Die Hard, but also the military tactics of the Israeli Defence Force during the 2002 invasion of Nablus, during which Israeli forces blasted tunnels through urban architecture to conceal their movements.
Film Studies for Free.
An invaluable resource, Film Studies for Free is a web-archive of freely accessible academic writing on film. You’ll have to dig to find what you’re looking for but there’s also always something new to discover!
Film theorist David Bordwell regularly updates his blog with his thoughts on cinema. His analyses take on everything from trends in film history to tiny details you may not have thought about.
The following may prove interesting as further reading inspired by topics covered in the book:
Voice and Gender in Disney Movies.
A fascinating article covering research conducted by linguists Carmen Fought and Karen Eisenhauer into the role of the female voice in Disney movies, shining a light on the problematic fact that male voices dominate Disney movies.
FILMS ABOUT FILMS
In recent years there have been a number of fascinating feature documentaries made to analyse cinema.
The Celluloid Closet (1995)
The film version of Vito Russo’s influential book of the same name, The Celluloid Closet charts the sad and inspiring history of gay characters on screen. Russo’s book is discussed in the Voice and Language chapter of Filmish.
Nollywood Babylon (2008)
A fantastic documentary about the fascinating Nollywood film industry discussed in the Filmish chapter on Technology and Technophobia. The second largest Global film industry in terms of output, Nollywood has exploded in the last few years due to the proliferation of digital film-making.
The Pervert’s Guide to Cinema (2006) / The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology (2012)
Two documentaries that take philosopher Slavoj Zizek as their guide through the psychoanalytic recesses of the movies. Light hearted but satisfying, Zizek’s analyses are a pleasure to watch.
Reel Bad Arabs (2006)
The video-essay version of Jack Shaheen’s book of the same name analyses the largely negative portrayal of Arab people seen in Hollywood cinema. This film is well worth a watch as a companion to Filmish chapter 6.
Room 237 (2012)
This film examines a number of strange and interesting meanings supposedly hidden by Stanley Kubrick within his horror classic The Shining (1980). A fascinating viewing experience, the film pairs both the plausible (such as Rob Ager’s theory of ‘impossible architecture’ featured in the Filmish book) and the improbable (for example, that Kubrick codedly admitted to faking the moon landings in the film) to paint a multifaceted picture of a timeless classic.
Side By Side (2012)
A documentary that examines the impact of digital technology on modern film-making, with fascinating interviews with major Hollywood directors.
The Flophouse Podcast
My favourite bad-movie podcast. The host trio of Dan McCoy, Elliott Kalan and Stuart Wellington make the show a warm, funny and charming listen as they dissect the terribleness of movies like Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014) and A Good Day to Die Hard (2013).
You Must Remember This
A secret history of Hollywood, told by Karina Longworth. This podcast offers fascinating insight into all manner of Hollywood history, including the impact of WWII on Hollywood stars and the role Charles Manson played in Hollywood.