This is ""cinematic dramaturgy."" and it's a four-star production number with forty-six photographs and line drawings, a massive bibliography, complete glossary, fifteen tests (at the end) for ""Plastic Sensitivity, Visual Memory and Visual Intelligence,"" a list of film distributors and some of the films they distribute. But these all come at the end of a rather overwhelming opus that could serve as a textbook for film-makers themselves. In fact it would help to already have the media vocabulary down pat not to mention having seen the film referrals. Mr. Gessner discusses everything. . . style, the psychological impetus of conflict and how it's used, major and minor images and their impact, the technicalities of shots, the impromptu vs. the plotted script, character (and director's) motivations, the Obligatory scene, why it's necessary and how it should be handled, technical aspects of shots--the flashback, slow motion in terms of mood and visual symmetry, use and mis-use of color, dialogue, music, etc., etc., etc. To illustrate his points, the author includes major portions of screenplays or gives a pertinent synopsis of the scene. Mr. Gessner, who teaches film-making at New York University, was the first to initiate a four-year curriculum in this art. This book will be of immense value in the classroom.