David Bordwell's website on cinema   click for CV




Perplexing Plots: Popular Storytelling and the Poetics of Murder

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

Sundancing in Mad City

Saturday | May 12, 2007   open printable version open printable version


DB here:

Though we’re in Auckland and missed the opening of Sundance 608 in Madison, we’re happy to read about it. The company played the local press like a violin, slowly building the news and letting local bigwigs get the VIP tour before opening. Redford hinted that he’d show up, then had to stay home to finish cutting Lions for Lambs.

The Capital Times gave robust coverage to the opening night (screening of Paris, je t’aime) and the benefit followup (La vie en rose). Rob Thomas analyzes the impact on local film culture here, with comments from Lionsgate and other distributors. In Dean Robbins’ Isthmus interview, Redford suggests that Madison was selected because of its progressive politics rather than its movie mania (which I blogged about last year). He also intimates that the new chain may be showing films that didn’t make the cut for his festival. Does this make Sundance a film distributor as well as an exhibitor?

Put aside the amenities–cafe, bar, rooftop restaurant, padded armchairs, free WiFi in the lounges. This is about movies, remember? The first week’s lineup is strong: Waitress, Black Book, Air Guitar Nation, The TV Set, Away from Her, and After the Wedding. If the city’s other art theatres, Westgate and the Orpheum/Stage Door can stay competitive, Madison will have twelve screens devoted to indie and foreign-language fare–pretty good for a city of a couple hundred thousand people.

PS 14 May (New Zealand time): In the blog, Dane101, Sean Weitner provides a vivid and detailed account of going to Sundance 608, including the “convenience fee,” which I’ve never encountered but which makes great sense. One more reason to get homesick for Mad City.

PPS 16 May (NZT): Go here for Ann Althouse’s skeptical take on Sundance 608, including pix. Thanks to Michael Newman for the link.

PPPS 20 May (NZT): Go to this story in The Capital Times and this forum to find out how confusing the “convenience fee” can be, and why it may alienate customers. I hadn’t realized that it doesn’t add that much convenience, becomes obligatory at prime times, and operates even when the theatre is nearly empty.

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