Monthly Archives: June 1986

Film Style And Technology, by Barry Salt

From Wide Angle, vol. 8, no. 3-4, 1986. –- J.R.

FILM STYLE AND TECHNOLOGY: HISTORY AND ANALYSIS by Barry Salt, Starword, 3 Minford Gardens, London W14 0AN, England, 1983: paper, $ 15.00, 408 pages, lllustrations

Review by Jonathan Rosenbaum

It is a sad commentary on the narrowness and inflexibility of current academic publishing

in film studies that this major work had to be brought out at the author’s own expense.

Handsomely produced and generously priced, Film Style and Technology: History and

Analysis offers what is conceivably the most detailed account of film technology that we

have had to date, stretching from 1885 through the Seventies, with roughly one chapter

per decade, and for this aspect of the book alone, no comprehensive library devoted to

film history can afford to be without it. In addition, the book’s innovative use of statistical

style analysis, while problematical in relation to certain stylistic issues, nevertheless

introduces a new form of rigor to film analysis that deserves to be considered in detail.

If, as a “total” view of cinema, Salt’s approach often seems constricted, it nonetheless

yields a wealth of potentially useful material to many different kinds of film scholars.

As Salt’s title makes clear, a technological history of film represents only one part

of his enterprise.… Read more »