Are you an art-movie buff or a blockbuster enthusiast? Can you reel off a list of New Wave masterpieces, or are you more interested in classic Westerns? Most of us love the movies in one form or another, but very few of us have the all-round knowledge we'd like. 30-Second Cinema
offers an immersion course, served up in neat, entertaining shorts. These 50 topics deal with cinema's beginnings, with its growth as an industry, with key stars and producers, with global movements-from German Expressionism to New Hollywood-and with the movies as a business. By the time you've worked your way through, you'll be able to identify the work of George Melies, define auteur theory or mumblecore in a couple of pithy phrases, and you'll have broadened your knowledge of global cinema to embrace not only Bollywood but Nollywood, too. All in the time it takes to watch a couple of trailers.
Pamela Hutchinson is a writer and film critic who specialises in film history, especially silent cinema and women in film. She edits the silent cinema website SilentLondon.co.ukand contributes regularly to Sight & Sound and the Guardian (where she was previously on staff for 12 years). Her book, Pandora's Box, in the BFI Film Classics series, was published in 2017.