About the Glossaries

The Syntax of Film - A Glossary (Original English Version)

This comprehensive yet concise glossary provides students with relevant terms and concepts they might find useful when analyzing movie sequences. It does not however, provide its own frame of (analytical) reference which it should be embedded in (e.g. a narratological/transmedial or postcolonial/feminist critical approach). To facilitate this, efforts have been made to make it compatible with Gérard Genette's ideas and terminology. The entries are mainly taken from Ephraim Katz's The Film Encyclopedia (2008) and James Monaco's The Dictionary of New Media (1999). The glossary's structure is based Monaco's third chapter "The Language of Film: Signs and Syntax" of his book How to Read a Film (2000) stressing the second part of this chapter, hence the title. Additions were made wherever this seemed to be necessary to meet the requirements of the target audience. The result is a highly condensed glossary based on two seminal works aimed at high school and undergraduate students.

French Version

This version is based on the structure and layout of the original English edition, thus facilitating its use in both (foreign) language classrooms. Definitions are mainly taken from Marie-Thérèse Journot's Le Vocabulaire du cinéma (2004) and Vincent Pinel's quasi-sequel, Dictionnaire technique du cinéma (2008), which assures their genuineness and results in a slightly more Eurocentric outlook on the topic. In most cases however, information has been added and/or modified to assure a high degree of consistency between the two versions.

General Note

The full digital edition features both versions, movie stills, extracts from movies, diagrams, and samples from actual film productions that illustrate most of the terms.
For information on how to obtain it (including the printed English edition) please contact:
 (for educational purposes only)

Note: A printed version of the French glossary is available upon request.

Mark Bischoff