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Cinema Studies

A overview of the resources available for researchers in the field of Cinema Studies

A list of good online reference materials.

Use these reference books to provide an overview of your topic, define terms, and list recommended readings. If connecting from home, make sure your computer is configured for off-campus access.  Click to access the online version.

Dictionaries and Encyclopedias available in the Referene room on the 1st floor of Bobst

    • Beaver, Frank Eugene. Dictionary of Film Terms: the Aesthetic Companion to Film Analysis . New York: Twayne Publishers, 1994.
      Bobst Ref1 TR847 .B43 1994
      Film terms in this source relate to cinematic expression including: editing, cinematography, composition, and lighting.
    • Browne, Steven E. Film-Video Terms and Concepts. Boston, MA: Focal Press, 1992.
      Bobst Ref1 TR847 .B76 1992
      Dictionary of technical terms concerning both video and film production. This source is particularly useful, as it differentiates between terms used when working with one or the other format.
    • International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers. 4 vols. Detroit: St. James Press, 2000.
      Bobst Ref1 PN1997.8 .I58 2000 [1984, 1990, and 1997 editions available in stacks]
      International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers available via Gale's Virtual Reference Library
      Volumes 1-4 in this series each deal with a separate subject: Films, Directors/ Filmmakers, Actors & Actresses, Writers & Production Artists; volume 5 is the title index to the set. Entries include biographical or production data, complete filmographies (for individuals), signed critical articles and, most importantly, exhaustive bibliographies for further research.
    • Katz, Ephraim. The Film Encyclopedia. New York: HarperPerennial, 1998.
      Bobst Ref1 PN1993.45 .K34 1998 [1979 & 1994 editions available in stacks]
      Best one-volume encyclopedia on cinema. Scope is international, with an emphasis on North American and European filmmakers. Provides mainly biographical information on directors, actors, composers, cinematographers, designers, etc., with some entries for technical terms, production companies, and national film histories.
    • Motion Picture Guide. Chicago: Cinebooks, 1985-1999.
      Bobst Ref1 PN1993 .M4334
      This encyclopedia is organized by film title. Each citation gives complete production credits, release dates, and synopsis of U.S. films and select foreign titles.
    • New York Times Encyclopedia of Film. 13 vols. New York: Times Books, 1984.
      Bobst Ref1 PN1993.45 .N4 1984
      Consisting of chronologically organized articles concerning film from the New York Times, this source covers the years 1896-1979. Contains a cumulative index.
    • Rajadhyaksha, Ashish and Paul Willemen. Encyclopaedia of Indian Cinema . London: British Film Institute, 1999.
      Bobst Ref1 PN1993.5 .I8R277 1999
      The only encyclopedia that focuses on the vast Indian film industry. Contains a bibliography and index.
    • Slide, Anthony. The International Film Industry: An Historical Dictionary . New York: Greenwood Press, 1989.
      Bobst Ref1 PN1993.45 .S57 1989
      This dictionary includes brief historical essays on the cinema in almost every country in the world, focusing on the production companies, studios, and distributors within each film industry.
    • Wakeman, John, ed. World Film Directors. 2 vols. New York: H.W. Wilson Co., 1987-88.
      Bobst Ref1 PN1998.2 .W67 1987
      Contains useful biographical/critical articles on approx. 400 directors, with brief filmographies and bibliographies appended to each. Volume 1 treats filmmakers born before 1920, and volume 2 covers more recent figures.

Almanacs, Handbooks & Directories

    • Armour, Robert A. Film: A Reference Guide. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1980.
      Bobst Ref1 PN1993.45 .A75
      Offers bibliographic essays arranged under 11 broad topics (eg., History of Film, Film Criticism by Genre, Film and Society, etc.); an appendix provides information on North American research collections. Extensively indexed.
    • Film Writers. Hollywood, CA: Lone Eagle.
      Bobst Ref1 PN1993 .F58 Current Issue Only
      This directory contains filmographies and contact information for currently-active screenwriters.
    • International Motion Picture Almanac. New York: Quigley.
      Bobst Ref1 PN1993.3 .I5 [Latest edition only; some earlier eds. in stacks]
      Valuable ready-reference guide with wide range of information, including production and advertising, societies, festivals, trade publications, statistics, and much more. Note the table of contents and alphabetical subject index.
    • Film Directors. Hollywood, CA: Lone Eagle.
      Bobst Ref1 PN1998 .A2D568 Current Issue Only
      This source contains filmographies and contact information for currently-active film directors.

Filmographies and Film Catalogs

  • The American Film Institute Catalog of Motion Pictures. New York: Bowker, 1971- .
    Bobst Ref1 PN1998 .A57
    Electronic Access
    In progress. Volumes published so far cover feature films produced in the United States between the years 1911-20, 1921-30, 1931-1940 (3 vols.,) and 1961-70. Entries arranged alphabetically by title, with cast, credits, and plot summaries for each. Subject and name access in separate volume.
  • Buehrer, Beverley Bare. Japanese Films: A Filmography and Commentary, 1921-1989 . Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland, 1990.
    Bobst Ref1 PN1993.5 .J3B78 1990
    This selective filmography is a useful introduction to Japanese cinema and its major filmmakers. Contains a bibliography, film and video resource directory, and a chronology of Japanese historic periods.
  • Helt, Richard C. and Marie E. Helt. West German Cinema Since 1945: A Reference Handbook and West German Cinema, 1985-1990: A Reference Handbook. Metuchen, N.J.: Scarecrow Press, 1987 & 1992.
    Bobst Ref1 PN1993.5 .G3H435 1987 and Bobst Ref1 PN1993.5 .G3H426 1992
    These two volumes provide a complete German filmography from 1945-1990. Contains a selective bibliography.
  • Maurice, Bessy. Histoire du Cinéma Français. Paris: Pygmalion, 1986- .
    Bobst Ref1 PN1993.5 .F7B44 1986
    In progress. A complete filmography of French cinema, in French. An invaluable resource.
  • Slater, Thomas J., ed. Handbook of Soviet and East European Films and Filmmakers . New York: Greenwood Press, 1992.
    Bobst Ref1 PN1993.5 .R9H28 1992
    Organized by country, this source provides a history of each country's film industry, biographical sketches of important people, and a chronologically-arranged filmography.

Periodical Indices in Print

  • Review of the Arts: Film & Television. New Canaan, CT: NewsBank, 1975 to 1997.
    Bobst Ref1 Z5784 .M9R4
    Provides indexing to the NewsBank microfiche set located at MF 399 in the Microform Center on Lower Level 2. Covers over 400 U.S. newspapers, and so is valuable for its regional emphasis.
  • Batty, Linda. Retrospective Index to Film Periodicals, 1930-1971. New York: Bowker, 1975.
    Bobst Ref1 Z5784 .M9B39
    Indexes fourteen film journals and the Village Voice by general subjects, book reviews, and film reviews.
  • MacCann, Richard Dyer and Edward S. Perry. The New Film Index: A Bibliography of Magazine Articles in English, 1930-1970 . New York: E.P. Dutton, 1975.
    Bobst Ref1 Z5784 .M9M29 1975
    Indexes over 30 film journals, as well as a number of more general periodicals. Access is gained by a detailed table of contents and an author index.
  • Writers' Program. New York. The Film Index. 3 vols. New York: Museum of Modern Art and H.W. Wilson, 1941 (vol. 1); White Plains, NY: Kraus International Publications, 1985 (vols. 2 and 3).
    Bobst Ref1 Z5784 .M9W75
    Volume 1 (Film as Art) is the classic text; volumes 2 and 3 (Film as Industry & Film in Society) complete the original WPA project. Combined, these volumes contain over 20,000 entries from English-language books and periodicals relating to the cinema's first forty years of development.

Americans for the Arts

Americans for the Arts is the nation's leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts in America. Americans for the Arts is dedicated to representing and serving local communities and creating opportunities for every American to participate in and appreciate all forms of the arts.