david bordwell blog

Walther Ruttmann’s Weekend (the original title is in English) is not a exactly a film, even though its subtitle is “Ein Hörfilm von Walter [sic] Ruttmann.” That roughly translates as “a radio-film,” and it was produced by the Reichsrundfunk Gesellschaft (national radio). This series is not high art, but it’s pretty good, highly entertaining (to some, at least), and even has one episode, number three, directed by Alfonso Cuarón, HP and the Prisoner of Askaban (above). This pales, however, in comparison with the LOTR extended editions, which have four commentary tracks, totaling 45 hours, 44 minutes. For each title, I link to streaming services supplying it. (For those of you who subscribe to The Criterion Channel, I contributed a video essay on sound in M to David’s, Jeff Smith’s, and my series, also called “Observations on Film Art.”) Eisenstein was off in Hollywood unsuccessfully trying to make a film for Paramount and about to fall in love with Mexico. 353-page PDF file. It was the usual hazy 16mm print of the American release version. Stay safe! (The original is in the Busch-Reisinger Museum, Harvard.). Larry Silver, College Art Association Reviews (1 October 1998), “Bordwell is always sharp and often funny… The remainder of the book, its last 114 pages, offers a brilliant account of the history of staging in depth, taking us from Meliès and Porter through Sjöström’s Ingeborg Holm and Stroheim’s Greed to Preminger’s Fallen Angel, Cukor’s A Star Is Born and Spielberg’s Jaws.” Only three survive: Walk Cheerfully, I Flunked, But … , and That Night’s Wife. They carry on the idea introduced in The Big Parade that the ordinary soldiers fighting on the German and American sides were basically alike and could recognize each other’s humanity. Cinema loves to span spaces. We soon are introduced to his worried wife, Mayumi, tending the little girl. Since receiving his PhD from the University of Iowa in 1974, he has written more than fifteen volumes on the subject of cinema including Narration in the Fiction Film (1985), Ozu and the Poetics of Cinema (1988), Making Meaning (1989), and On the History of Film Style (1997). The standard historical accounts when I was a grad student (and probably thereafter) suggested that sound made film production too expensive for the shoestring-budgets of experimental filmmakers. P.S. Of course, to get into the real Hong Kong at-home experience, some viewers will find all these films easily and cost-free on the Darknet. I discovered that 1930 did not produce many masterpieces. The first part plays out ruthless competition among rival Triad leaders, including strikingly unusual methods of punishing one’s adversary. It was subsequently released on Blu-ray, but I haven’t seen that version. go here, Christopher Nolan: A Labyrinth of Linkages, Pandora’s Digital Box: Films, Files, and the Future of Movies, Exporting Entertainment: America in the World Film Market 1907–1934. The restored dialogue scenes in Fejos’s Lonesome show how ghastly these added interludes could be. Limiting story information can build curiosity, suspense, and surprise. Kenneth MacPherson was co-founder of the Swiss-based Pool-Group, along with his wife, Bryher (née Annie Winifred Ellerman) and the poet, HD (Hilda Doolittle). Tobis was initially able to use court injunctions to keep American films out of the German market. Bergman exploited the premise too, in films like Brink of Life (1958), Waiting Women (1952), his 1961-1963 trilogy, and Persona (1966). Taking a skills-centered approach supported by examples from many periods and countries the authors help students develop a core set of analytical skills that will enrich their understanding of any film in … The film centers on Albert, who makes his living selling sheet music to passersby in the street and leading them in sing-alongs. David Bordwell’s most popular book is Film Art: An Introduction. This book is available through PayHip, which uses PayPal to process payments (shown as “ Irvington Way Institute Press ”). (For those of you who subscribe to The Criterion Channel, I contributed a video essay on sound in M to David’s, Jeff Smith’s, and my series, also called “Observations on Film Art.”) Eisenstein was off in Hollywood unsuccessfully trying to make a film for Paramount and about to fall in love with Mexico. US $7.99. Lilian (the heroine’s name as well) shows up in search of gas for her roadster, and the three men fall in love with her. It is an anatomy of film criticism meant to reset the agenda for film scholarship. Here’s a helpful summary of the project. Producer Carl Laemmle, who was born in Germany and visited friends and family there regularly, no doubt had a personal as well as a financial incentive to acquire the rights for Universal. Dr. Mabuse films plus Spione: Dr. Mabuse, der Spieler (1922), Spione (1928, frame above), The Testament of Dr. Mabuse (1933) and The Thousand Eyes of Dr. Mabuse (1960), adding up to 610 minutes, or 6 hours and 10 minutes. Fantômas (1912). We’re immersed in the flamboyant flotsam of several women’s lives. There are two outstanding series more suitable for adult bingeing. Available from Flicker Alley. David has recorded an entry on Ozu’s Passing Fancy for our sister series, “Observations on Film Art,” on the Criterion Channel; it should go online there sometime this year. This pandemic must not become our Reichstag fire. Bazin did not wholly admire William Wyler’s Detective Story (1951), despite its skill in editing and performances; he found it too obedient to a mediocre play. 6 and 7 are the most widely seen. The Harry Potter series. There are some obvious titles on my final list, as always, but some of the films are good but not great. Among them are movies about pandemics, about personal relationships, and of course about all those vistas, urban or rural, that we can no longer visit in person. My experience is that online disc orders are taking longer than usual. There he visits his mother, as expected, but he also drops in on his old classroom and is disgusted to find that his teacher is glorifying war and preparing a new generation of young men to go off to become soldiers. to Amazon | go to The Frodo Franchise blog], Textbook written with Kristin Thompson and Jeff Smith. Unfortunately it has no subtitles. Infernal Affairs (2003-2004) was made famous by Scorsese’s remake The Departed (2006), but the original is better, and the follow-ups are loopier. Anyhow, a little analysis of what we have enables us to appreciate how Ozu uses the benshi to emphasize character reactions. (“Craving Wide Open Spaces? He had lensed Die Nibelungen, Metropolis, Heimkehr, and Asphalt. The motif of the clown, implied to be Lola’s degraded ex-lover, is heavy-handed. We enjoyed seeing it at the 2018 Wisconsin Film Festival. Again, the director wrings stylistic variations out of the situation; Lumet claims he systematically ran across a spectrum of lens lengths as the drama developed. At the Dau Cinema website, you can stream the first two films for $3 each: Dau. In one shot, an elderly kulak stands framed against the sky, his wealth indicated by the presence of a hefty cow. (Included in Flicker Alley’s excellent duel Blu-ray/DVD collection, “Masterworks of American Avant-garde Experimental Film 1920-1970.” The visual quality is distinctly better than the versions on YouTube.). Be sure to check out dispatches from the fest from David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson on their new blog! “Art historians might learn a lot from reading David Bordwell and listening to his version of how another historical discipline of visual imagery reconciles questions of style with both history and theory.” 71 pages, 11 × 8.5 inches Preview. She attracts the romantic attention of Mouret and the lecherous attention of a manager and would-be rapist (see respectively in the center and right foreground in the frame above). Film is an art form with a language and an aesthetic all its own. I don’t know if that counts the supplements, but there are lots of them.). I saw Traffic first, in first run, and then saw the others. David Bordwell is the author of Planet Hong Kong: Popular Cinema and the Art of Entertainment (second edition available at his site). There’s also Duvivier’s Marie-Octobre (1959), a tense drama about the reunion of old partisans. has released City Girl on Blu-ray, which should look even better, available as an import on Amazon.com in the US (where it is listed as Blu-ray but is the same edition as is listed on amazon.co.uk as dual-format Blu-ray/DVD). (The German manufacturers do not seem to have cottoned onto what their counterparts in other European nations–notably France–have: that if you include optional English subtitles, you can sell more copies.). Herewith a by no means comprehensive list of some interesting cinematic chamber pieces. Available from several services. That happens in 12 Angry Men, in Panic Room, in Polanski’s Carnage (2011) , and many of my other examples. Watching it again in the German version, remastered from a 35mm negative, was a revelation. Three carefree young men, who start off driving in a car and singing about friendship, arrive in their lavish shared home to discover that they are bankrupt. From David Koepp I learned that screenwriters call confined-space movies “bottle” plots. On the History of Film Style proposes that stylistic developments often arise from filmmakers’ serch for engaging and efficient solutions to production problems. Instead she finds him on the verge of ruin, since the new department store is located directly across the street. Pabst, like other filmmakers, uses the visit home on leave as a way to emphasize the war’s impact on the home front. She blogs with David at www.davidbordwell.net/blog. This and fairly frequent moments of subtle humor help Ozu avoid a purely melodramatic presentation of the situation. The two were often paired in later German films of the 1930s and became the ideal movie couple. It can save time and money in production. Film Art: An Introduction David Bordwell, Kristin Thompson. Series, as opposed to serials, usually involve continuing characters but self-contained stories. For those people, I offer a list of films to binge. (Not that I have anything against Adam Driver. (When we reach 1932 and 1933, I may be tempted to make an exception for Ozu.). But causally the four “extra” shots tell us little about where Shuji is in relation to the home he seeks to reach. to Amazon], Textbook written with Kristin Thompson (first-named author). David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson are two of America’s preeminent film scholars. I doubt anyone would learn anything about “mechanical principles” from the film. We wrote briefly about it here. That film is so engaging in part because it was primarily a lively look at Soviet everyday life, including movie-going. Ozu is not using 360-degree space consistently yet, but he’s playing with the idea. Semion, an aged peasant, is calmly, even cheerfully awaiting his imminent death, lying on a blanket and surrounded by heaps of apples. Ships … There are many delightful Hong Kong series. Given that sound developed at a different pace in different countries, some of this year’s films are silent. I have not seen this restored version, only the considerably cut-down American release back when it first came out. I especially like the 1983 Iranian film, The Key, directed by Ebrahim Forouzesh and scripted by Kiarostami. But all the shop-owners on the block have given up, and the demolition work removing them gradually drives the tailor mad. Filmmakers have willingly extended the bottle concept to cars. Although Thorne has rented a room over a tavern owned by people sympathetic to the black couple, the scandal leads the villages to demand that Thorne be evicted, and he leaves town. He refuses to sell to Mouret, who runs the department store and wants to expand. Judex is ordinarily available from Flicker Alley, though it is currently listed as out of stock. The film made it onto my 1921 ten-best list. action actors American animation artists audiences became become began called camera Chapter characters cinema Color Plate comedy companies continued countries created critics … Reinventing Hollywood: How 1940s Filmmakers Changed Movie Storytelling, Christopher Nolan: A Labyrinth of Linkages pdf online, Pandora’s Digital Box: Films, Files, and the Future of Movies pdf online, Planet Hong Kong, second edition pdf online, Exporting Entertainment: America in the World Film Market 1907–1934 pdf online, CinemaScope: The Modern Miracle You See Without Glasses, Constructive editing in Pickpocket: A video essay, Lessons with Bazin: Six Paths to a Poetics, A Celestial Cinémathèque? Common Sense + Film Theory = Common-Sense Film Theory? (photo by Jim Emerson) The Vancouver International Film Festival is now underway: 300+ films in 16 days (September 28 - October 13). Staho’s Bang Bang Orangutang (2005), a portrait of a seething racist, takes up the same premise but isn’t quite so rigorous. Kino Lorber put out a DVD, which I haven’t seen.) For cinema, the major development was the Kammerspielfilm, as exemplified in Hintertreppe (1921), Scherben (1921),  Sylvester (1924), and other silent German classics. Passing Fancy is one of three masterpieces Ozu released in 1933. In 2010 the fine Iranian director Jafar Panahi was forbidden to make films and subjected to house arrest. I called it “chamber art.” In Western painting you can trace it back to Dutch genre works (supremely, Vermeer). Pre-order it here. Zola had modeled his giant store on Le Bon Marché, while Duvivier was able to shoot interiors for the store “Au Bonheur des Dames” in the Galerie Lafayette–much as L’Herbier had shot in the Paris Bourse over a weekend. (They were named after Alexei Stakhanov, a coal miner; the movement started in the coal industry.) The film maintains its playful, often silly tone until the end. I wouldn’t put it in the same league as some of his earlier films, but for a 1930 list, it stands out. The first film is apparently available only on disc but the second is streaming from several sources. Fourth edition, New York: It is an anatomy of film criticism meant to … There are also many shots staged in depth, including a cut between Denise’s cousin’s fiancé, who has been caught sneaking out to desert her, and a reverse angle (maintaining screen direction) from behind her as he looks guiltily back. Thanks also to Komatsu Hiroshi for information on Iwami Jutaro and Steve Ridgely for correction of one of the intertitles. Or watch all the “season” films in a row: Late Spring (1949), Early Summer (1951), Early Spring ((1956), Equinox Flower (1958), Late Autumn (1960), End of Summer (1961), and An Autumn Afternoon (1962), for a grand total of 840, or 14 hours. These films dared to show secret gang rituals that other filmmakers shied away from. Haghi is basically Mabuse as a master spy instead of a gambler and general creator of chaos; given that he’s played by Rudolf Klein-Rogge, who was the first Mabuse, the comparison is almost inevitable. After his departure, the film was “finished,” including some dialogue scenes that were inserted. For example, Iwami Jutaro (1937), a swordplay comedy, treats one scene with “offscreen” sound. This was thanks to the “enthusiasts,” as the film puts it: Stakhanovites, that is, workers who did considerably more than their comrades through hard labor and efficiency. From that point, killing off some or all of the major characters became the norm of subsequent significant anti-war films. If you have never seen these or saw them before the restoration, do yourself a favor and binge them. Your first book is Free with trial! David Bordwell: Well, yeah, I do. For now, here are my picks. Style assigns films to a tradition, distinguishes a classic, and signals the arrival of a pathbreaking innovation. [order PDF version, $3.99], Second edition, 2011. You can use your existing PayPal account or many major credit and debit cards. The Classical Hollywood Cinema Twenty-Five Years Along, William Cameron Menzies: One Forceful, Impressive Idea, Another Shaw Production: Anamorphic Adventures in Hong Kong, The Hook: Scene Transitions in Classical Cinema, Preface, Croatian edition, On the History of Film Style, Second edition, 2018. Her change from a kind attitude toward Rath to cruelty and indifference is logical, given his passive decline from professor to clown, but it is presented too abruptly. It is sometimes hard to tell whether the camera or the device itself itself is moving. Watch a Western.”). The highlight comes in an emotional climax, when the benshi’s sobs would have filled in offscreen action. Written by 2 of the leading scholars in film studies, David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson, the eBook Film History: An Introduction 4th edition (ePub/PDF) is a comprehensive global survey of the medium that covers the development of every genre in film from comedy and drama to documentary and experimental. While Eisenstein’s approach had been sarcastic and comic, Dovzhenko pursued his poetic approach to cinema. In the final scene, huge numbers of casualties from the latest French attack are treated at a German war hospital, with French and German patients mixed together–as the dead had been in the battle itself (see the image above). As in Room, Kurosawa’s High and Low (1963) is tightly concentrated in its first half. The opening portrays Denise’s reaction to the bustle of Paris after she arrives by train by a rapid montage images superimposed around her bewildered face. Les Vampires is available on Blu-ray and DVD from Kino Lorber. The restored version of the film in the Fox boxed-set is excellent, but that box is long out of print. That Night’s Wife, though, is not really a gangster film. If not, families can fill their time with more recent films in episodes with continuing stories. Many chamber movies are based on plays, as you’d expect. Everything is very meticulously programmed. . The opening of the film had shown Paul as a student being told of the glories of war and rushing off to sign up. Bordwell traces the continuity of … The Harvard disciplinary hearing is filtered through a … Streaming entertainment is one of the things that are saving our sanity as we sit in our homes. 237 pages, 5 × 7 inches Kristin Thompson, David Bordwell No preview available - 2010. She moves in with Albert, but when he is framed for a crime committed by Fred’s gang and sent to jail, she takes up with Albert’s best friend. The first big attack on their position turns out to be friendly fire from their own artillery. According to Janet Bergstrom’s informative essay accompanying the “Murnau, Borzage and Fox” DVD boxed-set, Murnau initially wanted to film in Grandeur, a widescreen format of the day, but the budget wouldn’t allow it. The camera movements are rare and unobtrusive. Anyway, I gave up after the first of the recent series, the one where Adam Driver took over as the villain. We can find rich rewards in glimpses, partial views, and little details. These are either long in themselves or are split up into many parts that can be binged just like TV series. In her spare time she studies Egyptology. Buy Now. That’s about 68 hours of audio and visual supplements. Rear Window (1954), adapted from a fairly daring Cornell Woolrich short story, is as rigorous an instance of chamber cinema as Rope. It’s available on either DVD or Blu-ray as a Criterion Collection set    (#411 for you Criterion number-lovers). Apart from cutting away to Tony at his club, Hitchcock moved beyond the parlor to the adjacent bedroom, the building’s entryway, and the terrace. Frodo Franchise: The Lord of the Rings and Modern Hollywood, by Kristin Thompson. Apu Trilogy:  Pather Panchali (“Song of the Little Road,” but nobody calls it that, 1955), Aparajito (1956), and The World of Apu (1959). Benshi became celebrities, as strong an attraction as the movies, and they wielded power over some production companies. As before, I must end by pointing out that an archival restoration and a Blu-ray release are in order. An earlier entry on this site talks about how 3D let Sir Alfred give an ominous accent to props: a particularly large pair of scissors, and a more minor item like the bedside clock. I took these frames from the BFI set, but in the US Criterion released the same three films in its Eclipse brand under the more accurate title “Silent Ozu – Three Crime Dramas.” (I Flunked, But … is in the BFI’s four-film set, “The Student Comedies.” Criterion hasn’t released a DVD of it, but it is streaming on the Channel.). Publisher: Paidós. I discuss Dreyer’s relation to that style in “The Dreyer Generation” on the Danish Film Institute website. A slow track back emphasizes the empty classroom as he sits at his desk, his authority over the students gone. Flicker Alley’s Albatros films. His Day and Night (2004) traces a man visiting key people on the last day of his life, and we are stuck obstinately in the car throughout. During World War I, the relatively small number of films about the war naturally supported the combat, demonized the enemy, and in the US, urged people to buy War Bonds. Ozu, a fan of Western cinema, would have seen talkies and realized the power of offscreen sound. These are three of the most beautiful, touching films ever made, and the stunning restoration from a damaged negative and other materials is little short of a miracle. Most of the series below could be watched out of order without suffering much. In a burst of pique, he turns a blog into a page that denounces her and asks readers to rate local women. Once Shuji arrives at home, Mayumi gets him to confess what he has done. Not surprisingly, Lee Garmes’s camerawork and lighting is spectacularly good. In any other year they would not have made the cut. Johnnie To’s pictorialism, so feverish in The Longest Nite (1998), A Hero Never Dies (1998), The Mission (1999), and other films, gets a nice workout here as well. The Classical Hollywood Cinema: Film Style and Mode of Production to 1960 - Ebook written by David Bordwell, Janet Staiger, Kristin Thompson. David Bordwell had a great post on his blog pointing out both the historical precedents for transmedia storytelling and the problems inherent in it. Mayumi reveals her inner toughness and determination to defend her husband. Since 1979, David Bordwell's and Kristin Thompson's Film Art has been the best-selling and widely respected introduction to the analysis of cinema.

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