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

Another quick one

Wednesday | May 11, 2011   open printable version open printable version

Goodbye South, Goodbye: Kao confronts Flathead while the women tune out.

DB here:

The newest issue of Film Comment includes an essay I wrote on the relations between academic film studies and cinephile criticism. It’s online at the Film Comment site.

Two things: The header (“Never the twain shall meet”) risks misleading you. The essay argues that the twain can and should meet. Secondly, the essay refers to stages of a long take in Hou Hsiao-hsien’s Goodbye South, Goodbye, but neither the Web version nor the print version uses the images I suggested as illustrations. So here, in frames from a 35mm print, I present two phases of this gloriously dense scene. I discuss Hou’s staging principles in Chapter 5 of Figures Traced in Light, with comments on this passage on pp. 234-236.

As a followup, and weirder: The Way Hollywood Tells It is now available as an audio book. How it handles the pictures I don’t know. But you can listen to a sample here.

If the scene has a climax, this is probably it. As the punching bag swings, Flathead wriggles out the window.

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