David Bordwell's website on cinema   click for CV




On the History of Film Style pdf online

Reinventing Hollywood: How 1940s Filmmakers Changed Movie Storytelling

Film Art: An Introduction

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

The Way Hollywood Tells It pdf online

Poetics of Cinema pdf online

Figures Traced In Light

Ozu and the Poetics of Cinema pdf online

Exporting Entertainment: America in the World Film Market 1907–1934 pdf online


Hou Hsiao-hsien: A new video lecture!

CinemaScope: The Modern Miracle You See Without Glasses

How Motion Pictures Became the Movies

Constructive editing in Pickpocket: A video essay


Rex Stout: Logomachizing

Lessons with Bazin: Six Paths to a Poetics

A Celestial Cinémathèque? or, Film Archives and Me: A Semi-Personal History

Shklovsky and His “Monument to a Scientific Error”

Murder Culture: Adventures in 1940s Suspense

The Viewer’s Share: Models of Mind in Explaining Film

Common Sense + Film Theory = Common-Sense Film Theory?

Mad Detective: Doubling Down

The Classical Hollywood Cinema Twenty-Five Years Along

Nordisk and the Tableau Aesthetic

William Cameron Menzies: One Forceful, Impressive Idea

Another Shaw Production: Anamorphic Adventures in Hong Kong

Paolo Gioli’s Vertical Cinema

(Re)Discovering Charles Dekeukeleire

Doing Film History

The Hook: Scene Transitions in Classical Cinema

Anatomy of the Action Picture

Hearing Voices

Preface, Croatian edition, On the History of Film Style

Slavoj Žižek: Say Anything

Film and the Historical Return

Studying Cinema


Book Reports

Observations on film art

Akihabara mon amour

Wednesday | October 18, 2006   open printable version open printable version

During our first visit to Tokyo in summer 1988, Kristin and I were sitting with a friend in a park. I remarked that for library research I’d like a scanner that could run over the surface of a book and store the text or print it out somehow. Our Japanese friend Komatsu Hiroshi said brightly, “I know where they sell that.”

He took us to Akihabara, and in one store a bored salesgirl stood at a table routinely running a handset over Japanese text. The gadget spit out a strip of characters, like a cash-register sales receipt. I didn’t buy one, largely because it was doubtful that I could ever get replacement print cartridges, but ever since then, Akihabara has stood as my emblem of geek paradise. There, the future is on sale today, and everybody becomes an otaku.

So what a pleasure to get Mark Schiling’s report on the neighborhood, and its relation to the anime on view in the Tokyo Film Festival. I haven’t been back in several years, but this article makes me want to book a flight tomorrow.

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