I. film 1 S1 W1 /fɪlm/ BrE AmE noun
[ Language: Old English ; Origin: filmen 'thin skin' ]
1 . [countable] a story that is told using sound and moving pictures, shown at a cinema or on television SYN movie American English :
Have you seen any good films recently?
a film about a young dancer
2 . [uncountable] moving pictures of real events that are shown on television or at a cinema:
the race to be first with film footage (=pictures) of news events
3 . [uncountable] the work of making films, considered as an art or a business:
I’m interested in photography and film.
the film industry
a background in film and animation
4 . [uncountable and countable] the thin plastic used in a camera for taking photographs or recording moving pictures:
I shot five rolls of film on vacation.
record/capture/preserve something on film
The whole incident was recorded on film.
5 . [singular] a very thin layer of liquid, powder etc on the surface of something
a film of oil on the surface of the water
⇨ ↑ clingfilm
• • •
▪ watch a film
He stayed in and watched a film on TV.
▪ see a film
We saw a good film last night at the cinema.
▪ appear in a film
She once appeared in a film with Al Pacino.
▪ star in a film (=be one of the main characters in a film)
Robert Mitchum starred in a film called 'River of No Return' with Marilyn Monroe.
▪ direct a film
The film was directed by Jean-Luc Godard.
▪ edit a film
The film was edited using the latest digital technology.
▪ make/shoot a film
Sutton has been making a film for Australian television.
▪ show/screen a film
The film is being shown in cinemas all across the country.
▪ distribute a film
Warner Bros became the first major studio to distribute its films over the Internet.
▪ a film stars/features somebody
The film starred Brad Pitt.
▪ a film is released/comes out (=it is made available for people to see)
The film is due to come out in May.
▪ a film is showing ( also a film is on British English ) (=it is being shown at a cinema)
The film is on at the Odeon Cinema.
■ ADJECTIVES/NOUN + film
▪ a horror/adventure/war film
He likes watching horror films.
▪ a cowboy/gangster etc film
John Wayne was best-known for his roles in cowboy films.
▪ a feature film (=a full-length film shown in the cinema)
Shane Meadows’ first feature film was 'TwentyFourSeven'.
▪ a documentary film
He has just completed a documentary film about Thomas Jefferson.
▪ an independent film (=a film made by a small film company)
Young directors began making small independent films.
▪ a foreign-language film (=a film in a language that is not the audience’s native language)
Foreign-language films seldom do well at the box office.
▪ a low-budget film
He’s currently producing his own low-budget film.
▪ a big-budget film
a big-budget film aimed at the mass market
▪ a silent film (=made in the time before films had sound)
a star of silent films
■ film + NOUN
▪ the film industry
Scorsese is a highly respected figure in the film industry.
▪ a film company/studio (=a company that produces films)
a European film company trying to compete with the major Hollywood studios
▪ a film studio (=a special building where films are made)
Many of the scenes were shot in a film studio.
▪ a film actor/star
John Voight, the American film star, is perhaps best known for his Oscar winning performance in 'Midnight Cowboy'.
▪ a film director
This year’s festival includes a tribute to the French film director Bertrand Tavernier.
▪ a film producer (=someone who controls the preparation of a film)
British film producer Alexander Korda decided to make a movie about Vienna.
▪ a film maker (=someone who makes films, especially as a director)
He is one of several exciting young film makers.
▪ a film soundtrack (=the recorded music for a film)
The film’s soundtrack was composed by Ennio Morricone.
▪ film music
In 'La Strada', Nino Rota demonstrates the poetic power of film music.
▪ a film festival
The Berlin Film Festival attracted more than 400 films from around the world.
▪ a film premiere (=the first showing of a film)
Film premieres tend to be glamorous occasions.
▪ a film crew/unit (=a group of people working together to make a film)
The film crew are making a documentary about village life.
▪ a film camera
The company produces digital film cameras.
▪ a film buff (=someone who is interested in films and knows a lot about them)
Film buffs will enjoy reading 'The 100 Best Movies of All Time'.
▪ a film critic
The review was written by 'The Daily Telegraph’s' film critic.
▪ a film school
He graduated from film school in 1998.
▪ film studies
She’s studying for a diploma in film studies.
• • •
▪ film especially British English , movie especially American English a series of images that tell a story and are shown in a cinema or on television:
What’s your favourite movie?
It won the award for best foreign film.
a made-for-TV movie
▪ motion picture formal ( also picture ) a film – used especially by people who make films or by critics:
a major Hollywood motion picture
Tell us about your latest picture.
▪ blockbuster informal a very successful film:
Steven Spielberg’s latest Hollywood blockbuster
▪ flick informal a film – a very informal use:
an action flick
▪ documentary a film that gives detailed information and facts about a particular subject:
a documentary on the rain forest
▪ feature film a film made to be shown in cinemas:
The book was later made into a full-length feature film starring Sean Penn.
▪ comedy a film intended to make people laugh:
Monroe appeared in a number of comedies.
▪ romantic comedy ( also romcom British English informal ) a film about two people who are in love, which is intended to make the people who watch it feel happy:
‘Notting Hill’ is a romantic comedy starring Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant.
▪ thriller an exciting film, especially about murder or serious crimes:
‘The Birds’ is a classic Hitchcock thriller.
▪ film noir a film that shows strong feelings of fear or evil and whose characters are often immoral, or these films in general:
‘The Big Sleep’ is a classic Hollywood film noir.
▪ action film/movie a film that has lots of fighting, explosions etc:
Stallone’s latest action movie
▪ horror film/movie a frightening film about ghosts, murders etc:
She loves watching old horror movies.
▪ western a film with cowboys in it:
John Wayne is famous for making westerns.
▪ science fiction film/movie ( also sci-fi film/movie informal ) a film about imaginary events in the future or in outer space:
‘2001’ is probably the most famous sci-fi movie ever made.
▪ gangster film/movie a film about violent criminals
▪ silent film/movie an old film without any sound:
The 1920s were the golden age of silent movies.
▪ an independent film/movie a film made by a small film company
▪ animated film/movie/cartoon a film with characters that are drawn or made using a computer:
One of his first animated films was ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’.
▪ anime /ˈænɪmeɪ, -mə/ a type of Japanese animated film, which often has a science fiction story:
Miyazaki’s anime film ‘Spirited Away’ became an international success.
an anime character
▪ CGI the use of computers to create characters and images in a film:
The film uses CGI.
Disney’s latest CGI movie
▪ short a short film, usually shown before a longer movie in the cinema:
an animated short
▪ trailer a series of short scenes from a film or programme, shown in order to advertise it in a cinema, on television etc:
We had to sit through all the trailers.
II. film 2 BrE AmE verb [intransitive and transitive]
to use a camera to record a story or real events so that they can be shown in the cinema or on television:
The love scenes are sensitively filmed.
She’s in South Africa filming a documentary for the BBC.
a thriller filmed entirely on location in Washington
—filming noun [uncountable] :
Filming starts in October.
film over phrasal verb
if your eyes film over, they become covered with a thin layer of liquid