Author: André Bazin
Original publication date: 1968

Appreciating cinema means watching it, but, reader, at some point in your career as a viewer, you have to read the two volumes of Bazin's What Is Cinema?, collections of his influential essays that shaped the way we talk about movies. It's a text of biblical importance for the film community, but readers should be pleasantly surprised to find Bazin's writing clean, smooth, and light.

So much contemporary film theory requires the reader to bring a linguistics degree, a background in psychoanalysis, Karl Marx, and a slew of other hallmarks of academia to the table. Bazin's writing only asks that you love and know cinema. From there, he'll do the rest. RS