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DK Eyewitness Companion - Film by Ronald Bergan
DK Eyewitness Companion - Film
By Ronald Bergan
The history of film could not possibly be covered in one tome without some sacrifice of contextual insight that will cause the reader to dismiss the resource entirely. There have been past attempts to provide a more comprehensive overview, for example, Liz-Ann Bawden's The Oxford Companion to Film (which has not been updated since its original publication in 1976) and David Thomson's The New Biographical Dictionary of Film. Thomson does update his hefty and endlessly fascinating book periodically (the last time in 2004), but his meticulous approach is to provide an alphabetical listing of key contributors to cinema and summarize their work with his own critical eye.

Written and compiled by British film critic Ronald Bergan, the DK Eyewitness Companion book is much more cursory, but the organization is also more amenable to the casual browser looking for a few film factoids. That's because the 500-plus-page soft-cover book mimics the same pleasing graphics, easy-to-follow organization, and abbreviated observations of the extensive Eyewitness guidebook line. This one is divided into six discrete sections - The Story of Cinema, How Movies Are Made, Genres, World Cinema, A-Z of Directors, and Top 100 Movies. Each provides interesting tidbits of a thumbnail variety, especially the first chapter which dares to cover the history of movies in such an expeditious fashion. The second section gives a solid look at the entire process of filmmaking from development to release.

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