Within the main entries, the first mention of a film title is the film's original language title followed parenthetically by the American release title, the name of the director (if it is not mentioned in the text), and the year of the film's release. A title that has no English release title is translated parenthetically but not italicized. In subsequent mentions of non-English language titles within the same entry, the most well-known title is used. Also upon first mention, the names of historically important figures are followed parenthetically by the dates of birth and death.
Each of the entries is followed by a Further Reading section. These bibliographies include both any works referenced in the body of the entry and other major works on the subject in English. In a few instances books or articles published in languages other than English are mentioned where appropriate. For the most part, references to Internet sources are not included, because of their more fleeting nature, except where appropriate.
The sidebars—highlighting important individual accomplishments—are color-coded to indicate broadly the type of achievement discussed. Sidebars for actors and performers are shaded in green, directors in blue, and those involved in other aspects of film production in yellow. People whose influence has been more culturally pervasive and not restricted primarily to cinema, are shaded in tan.
Each of the sidebars is followed by headings for Recommended Viewing and Further Reading. The viewing sections are not complete filmographies but suggest the best, most representative, or most useful works concerning the person profiled. Similarly, the reading lists are not meant as definitive lists but are intended to steer the reader by citing the principal sources of information regarding the subject.
The Encyclopedia also features an Index and a Glossary. The comprehensive index, including all topics, concepts, names, and terms discussed in the work, will enable readers to locate information throughout the Encyclopedia in a more thorough manner than cross-references provided at the end of entries. Readers should use the Glossary to track subjects not treated in separate articles but discussed within the context of multiple articles. The Glossary provides concise definitions of terms used in the entries as well as other basic film studies terms that informed readers should know.
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