Published online February 2002. Cite as: Tom Gunning, "Making Sense of Films," History Matters: The U.S. Survey Course on the Web, February 2002.
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Making Sense of Films
Making Sense of Films offers a place for students and teachers to begin working with early twentieth-century film as historical evidence. Written by Tom Gunning, this guide offers an overview of early film and how historians use it, tips on what questions to ask when watching early films, an annotated bibliography, and a guide to finding and using early film online. Tom Gunning is a Professor in the Art Department and the Cinema and Media Committee at the University of Chicago. Author of D. W. Griffith and the Origins of American Narrative Film (University of Illinois Press), and the recently published The Films of Fritz Lang: Allegories of Modernity and Vision (BFI), he has written numerous essays on early and international silent cinema, and on the development of later American cinema, in terms of Hollywood genres and directors as well as the avant-garde film. He has lectured around the world and his works have been published in a dozen different languages.