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

Great Danes in the morning

Friday | October 20, 2006   open printable version open printable version

This morning I received my author’s copies of a superb book published by the Danish Film Institute, 100 Years of Nordisk Film. Nordisk was one of the world’s top producing and distributing companies in the 1900s and 1910s, and it continues today. This volume, edited by Lispeth Richter Larsen and Dan Nissen, is now the fullest account in English of this extraordinary firm.

There are essays by top scholars like Isak Thorsen, Marguerite Engberg, Stephan Michael Schroder, Niels Jorgen Dinnesen, Edvin Kau, Thomas Christensen, Casper Tybjerg, Ib Bondebjerg, and Peter Schelpern, and the illustrations are eye-popping. I contribute an essay on the aesthetics of Nordisk’s 1910s films, and my stills came out beautifully.

Many of the silent films discussed are available on DVD from the Institute, and they are extraordinary. If you want a sample, try the Asta Nielsen or Benjamin Christensen collection. These are amazing movies, and the Christensens offer remarkably inventive uses of cutting, lighting, and camera movement–very unusual for their day.
I don’t yet find a source for ordering the book online, but it will probably be available soon from the Institute’s bookstore. Danish cinema is one of the most exciting national cinemas in Europe right now; for coverage, have a look at their new homepage.

Addendum to an earlier post: Industry sage and entertaining skeptic David Poland of The Hot Button calls foul on Gladwell’s New Yorker piece on the Epagogix software–you know, the one purporting to predict hit movies. Thanks to Sean Weitner of Flak Magazine (itself highly recommended).

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