Ranging from the late 19th century to the present, this exhilarating survey explores the ways the medium of cinema has changed the way we see the world.

The Mysteries of Cinema begins from the audacious innovations of silent film, and examines the influence of French surrealism and German expressionism; it accounts for the appeal of Hollywood genres like the western, the horror film and the musical, and ends by considering the fate of the moving image in our visually glutted society.

Combining contagious enthusiasm with an eye for the subjective quirks of filmmakers and the allure of favourite performers, Peter Conrad delivers an astonishing addition to the literature on the seventh art.

To win a copy of the book, simply email the answer to this question to filmcompetitions@bfi.org.uk by 15 May.

  • The Lumière brothers debuted their first film in what year?

Or if you can’t wait you can order The Mysteries of Cinema : Movies and Imagination hardback from BFI Shop. We’ve knocked £3 off the RRP of £25.

The Mysteries of Cinema is published by Thames & Hudson, available from 15 April.