Film is a communal dream in which our fears and fantasies are revealed. It has influenced our behaviour, intertwined with our politics, helped to forge national identity, galvanise communities against a wartime enemy or warn of social upheaval. It has burrowed deep into our psyche, changing perceptions of history and memory, and even raised our romantic expectations.
Despite decades of rapid change, we are still hypnotised and seduced by the power of cinema; it remains our most persuasive mass entertainment. In this fascinating, entertaining and illuminating book Francine Stock takes us on a personal journey through a glorious century of cinema, from the Lumiere brothers' flickering train to the 3D excesses of Avatar, showing in vivid detail how film both reflects and remakes our world.