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Talking Pictures

Talking Pictures

How to Watch Movies

A veteran film critic offers a lively, opinionated guide to thinking and talking about movies–from Casablancato Chinatown, Groundhog Day to Selma.

Whether we are trying to impress a date after an art-house film screening or discussing Oscar nominations with friends, we all need ways to watch and talk about movies. But with so much variety between an Alfred Hitchcock thriller and a Nora Ephron romantic comedy, how can everyday viewers determine what makes a good movie?

In Talking Pictures, veteran film critic Ann Hornaday walks us through the production of a typical movie-from writing the script and casting to the final sound edit-and explains how to evaluate each piece of the process. How do we know if a film is well-written, above and beyond snappy dialogue? What constitutes a great screen performance? What goes into praiseworthy cinematography, editing, and sound design? And what does a director really do? Full of engaging anecdotes and interviews with actors and filmmakers, Talking Pictures will help us see movies in a whole new light-not just as fans, but as film critics in our own right.
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Genre: Nonfiction / Performing Arts / Film

On Sale: June 13th 2017

Price: $26

Page Count: 320

ISBN-13: 9780465094233

What's Inside

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Praise

"Ann Hornaday provides a pleasantly calm, eminently sensible, down-the-middle primer for the movie lover-amateur, professional or Twitter centric orator-who would like to acquire and sharpen basic viewing skills."
New York Times Book Review
"[An] illuminating new book for anyone who wants more from the movies than popcorn and thrills.... Talking Pictures reflects Hornaday's 20-plus years of writing about movies. Her career has given her great access to the people who make the movies, and some of her anecdotes can be fascinating."
Washington Post
"If you're looking for a crash course in how to watch movies and move beyond 'It was terrible (or terrific),' look no further than Talking Pictures: How to Watch Movies by Ann Hornaday....she cites excellent examples along with insightful quotes from A-listers...Ms. Hornaday expertly shares why some films seem magnificent or mediocre, why details matter and why directors with 'chops' can seize the day."
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
"[Ann Hornaday] offers her insights, opinions and finely tuned observations on actors and acting, camera work, editing, sound and music, and the other elements of film-and how they can all combine to truly make a movie good, bad or just so-so."
Parade
"A master class in filmmaking and a celebration of why we love the movies."
Booklist
"[Talking Pictures] gives the reader tools for watching films more intentionally and with more discerning taste."
Publishers Weekly
"[Hornaday] has conducted extensive interviews with film folk over the years, which adds an informed, insider's quality to her discussions... a user-friendly, nonintimidating guide to appreciating movies."
Kirkus
"Ann Hornaday has delivered one of the best books of this genre, a truly original take on filmmaking. Bringing together deep insights from the top people in all areas of the craft along with her own critical eye, Hornaday inspires serious and casual movie fans alike to appreciate and enjoy movies. Talking Pictures draws on examples from classics of the past and current films to deliver a masterclass in filmmaking, criticism, and the pleasures of watching movies."
Bob Berney, Head of Marketing & Distribution, Amazon Studios
"In this essential book Ann Hornaday explores the unique alchemy of filmmaking through its various disciplines, and manages to explain the unexplainable. With clarity and compassion she demystifies the brilliance of Groundhog Day, breaks down how the editor on a film is the audience's chief surrogate, and ultimately puts her finger on what we crave every time the lights go down in a movie theater: 'the singular joy that comes from authentic human connection.' This book is a true gift to all filmmakers and film lovers."
Albert Berger, Academy Award-nominated Producer of Nebraska, Cold Mountain, and Little Miss Sunshine, among others
"An urgently needed guide to film literacy written by one of our great critics."
Mark Boal, Academy Award-winning Screenwriter and Producer
"Ann Hornaday knows movies, but more importantly, she knows how to write about movies for a diverse readership. This book is an extension of that essential talent, a clear-eyed assessment of what makes this art form so engaging and how to ask hard questions of it. Anyone remotely intrigued by the filmmaking process will learn something new about it-I know I did-and come away with a fresh toolkit for debating movies old and new. Hornaday's book is a quintessential reminder that movies are a major art form, and it's a must-read for anyone who feels the same way."
Eric Kohn, chief critic, Indiewire