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

Pictures, not moving, from Vancouver

Wednesday | October 8, 2008   open printable version open printable version

Craig Baldwin, upper half.

DB here:

Tonight we’re packing to leave the Vancouver International Film Festival, and we still have to write up comments on several more films. We’ll scribble as we drive back and try to post our final blog entry after we’ve returned to Madison. In the meantime, here are some snapshots from a superb two weeks and an aggregate of over forty movies between us.

First, the context. Vancouver must be one of the most gorgeous cities in North America, at least when it’s not raining. For the first time in my four visits to the festival, I actually had time to do a little exploring, thanks mostly to a longer stay but also to Kristin’s being along. It’s more fun to do touristic things with somebody else–especially if that somebody can read a map.

At the festival, guests gathered for breakfast in the reception room of the Listel Hotel. Over tasty waffles we could catch up with old friends and make new ones. Here is Lisa From Toronto, a long-time aficionado of Chinese film, with programmer Shelly Kraicer and Michael Walsh, former Wisconsin student and now a professor at Flinders University in Adelaide.

Pan-ek Ratanaruang, director of Last Life in the Universe and other major films, was always fun to have at the table. Here he regales Sean Axmaker, of the remarkable new website Parallax View, and in the background, Tony Rayns, VIFF programmer and coordinator of the Dragons and Tigers award.

Alissa Simon, Variety reviewer and programmer for the Palm Springs Film Festival, is another former Wisconsite. I saw her about a year ago, but Kristin hadn’t seen her in many years, so we had a chance to catch up with each other’s news.

Gerwin Tamsma, programmer from the Rotterdam International Film Festival, makes a point as Nik Sheehan looks on. Nik is the director of FlicKeR, a remarkable movie about Brion Gyson and his Dream Machine.

When breakfast was over, we went to the movies, sometimes five per day. As often as not, we were sitting near Frank, one of Vancouver’s most passionate and knowledgeable cinephiles.

Frank is an ardent fan of Albert Serra‘s Birdsong (aka Song of the Birds, which I wrote about here), and he was there to hear Serra explain that the film’s final shot has the graphic shape of a goblet or chalice.

Another director I enjoyed talking to was Lance Hammer, whose admirable Ballast is now circulating throughout the U. S. (Go here for my comments in our prior entry.)

Old friends Tony Rayns (a long-running presence on this site) and Geoff Gardner, another Aussie with long-lived love of movies, were often found larking about, as they would say.

When we weren’t watching movies or talking with other viewers, we ate. A lot. Vancouver harbors many fine fooderies, at all levels of cost and taste. One thing you can get in profusion is crepes, of all sorts.

In Chinatown, at the Jade Dynasty, the mango pudding comes in cute shapes.

Speaking of fish, an inevitable tourist spot is the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Center in Stanley Park, where the jellyfish never take bad pictures but film profs are likely to.

Our early days in the city were spent with nephew Sanjeev and niece-in-law Maggie, who came along from Seattle and proved excellent company. Which is to say, they were willing to laugh at my lamest jokes. Here they are with Michael Campi, cinephile nonpareil and scout for the Melbourne Film Festival.

That’s it for now; back to packing. More pictures, and lots more text, to come some time this weekend, we hope.

Craig Baldwin, lower half.

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