Montage, Découpage, Mise en scène: electronic, ppbk. and kindle editions

Essential essays, in robust, lively prose, on film aesthetics
and the history of film style and film theory

The three French concepts montage, or editing, découpage, or scene conception, and mise en scène, or staging, underlie our understanding of and debates around film form. In this unique volume, Montage, Découpage, Mise en scène: Essays on Film Form, which effortlessly blends film history, theory and aesthetics in an approach at once synthetic and contrapuntal, Laurent Le Forestier, Timothy Barnard and Frank Kessler examine in lively, readable prose the history of these concepts in film theory and criticism and their genesis and development in practice during cinema’s foundational first half-century and beyond.

Dudley Andrew of Yale University, describing this volume as “an uncommon, and uncommonly useful book”, says of it that it is a “brilliant idea for an affordable text on film form [which has] already demonstrated its worth in my classroom. . . . Three scrupulous scholars—genuine philologists of film theory—have brought precision and nuance to the way we talk about the most powerful yet befuddling art of the twentieth century. ‘Montage’, ‘Découpage’, ‘Mise en scène’ . . . to grasp the complexities of such nearly mystical terms may be the swiftest, securest way for students—for anyone—to understand and articulate what counts in how early, classical and modernist films look and sound”.

Montage, Découpage, Mise en scène is available now in an electronic library edition from the Proquest platform, as a sewn paperback with a stiff card cover and in a Kindle version.

Free sewn paperback for libraries purchasing
an electronic licence—see below.

For a very limited time, you can read the first half of the essay
Découpage’ by Timothy Barnard on the caboose site.

Libraries: purchase a three-user electronic licence from Proquest before September 1 and we will give you, free of charge with shipping at your expense, a free paperback edition, with premium 60 lb. cream paper, sewn binding and stiff card cover (retail: $40 USD). Just contact us to make the arrangements. Students and professors: ask your librarian about consulting the Proquest PDF edition via your library catalogue. And please recommend the book for permanent electronic acquisition, and mention this free offer! Individuals: get a free Kindle edition! Purchase the Kindle version for the ridiculously low price of $9.99 USD (Amazon will adjust the price to your currency), and when you decide that you need the beautiful bound edition (surely a collector’s item) for your bookshelves, we will deduct the cost of the Kindle from your purchase. Note that Kindle is now a free app, available from Amazon; no special device is needed to purchase or read the book.

Coming this summer in the caboose Theory and Practice series:
Garrett Stewart’s volume Cinesthesia: Museum Cinema and the Curated Screen.

Have an idea for a volume in the Theory and Practice series? Looking for an independent scholarly publisher with high editorial standards and fantastic design and production values, where you can publish in the Theory and Practice series alongside Garrett Stewart, the Montage, Découpage, Mise en scène authors, Bazin and Godard? To join the series, send us a proposal. In addition to superbly designed library PDFs (and printed books post-pandemic, we hope), we’ll make a Kindle edition of your book available to individuals and students for just $10.

The three authors of Montage, Découpage, Mise en scène take up topics such as early cinema, the modern mise en scène criticism of the 1950s and 60s, silent-era discussions of the theory and practice of montage, the sound period’s counter model of découpage, and film aesthetics in the digital age. Each 30,000-word essay serves as an essential guide for students and specialists alike, combining historical overview with fresh ideas about film aesthetics today, drawing on the writings of a broad range of modern-day and historical figures, both well-known (Bazin, Eisenstein) and unfamiliar perhaps to today’s reader.

FRANK KESSLER explores the origins of mise en scène in 19th-century theatre and its place in the contemporary digital cinematic landscape by way of the auteur theories of French film criticism of the 1950s and 60s and mise en scène and sound in the cinema. Kessler’s three-pronged historical, theoretical and practical approach fills a major gap in the literature on cinematic mise en scène.

TIMOTHY BARNARD, in the only discussion of découpage in English, surveys a broad range of writings—including those of André Bazin, for whom découpage was central—which see a film’s ‘relations between shots’ not as the work of editing, with which it is regularly confused, but rather of the camera’s formal treatment and sequencing of the mise en scène.

LAURENT LE FORESTIER’s premise is that montage must always be considered in light of the time and place in which it operates and studied in relation to other arts and social phenomena. As a form of thought, montage speaks to constantly fluctuating realities. His study of the concept’s odyssey and transformations lays the foundation for what could become a utopian total history of montage.

Frank Kessler’s essay on mise en scène was originally published in 2014 in the caboose Kino-Agora series. It appears here in a revised and expanded edition. Timothy Barnard’s essay on découpage was originally published in 2014 in the caboose Kino-Agora series and appeared in a revised version the following year. It appears here in an expanded and further revised version. Laurent Le Forestier’s essay on montage appears here for the first time, in any language.

Montage, Découpage, Mise en scène: Essays on Film Form
6 x 9 in., 269 pp.
Paperback, sewn binding, ISBN 978-1-927852-08-8, $40.
Kindle, $9.99.
PDF, ISBN 978-1-927852-26-2.