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

Robert Sklar, historian of film and culture

Monday | July 4, 2011   open printable version open printable version

KT, Adrienne Harris, and Robert Sklar. Beijing, 1988.

We have just learned of the death of Professor Robert Sklar after a bicycling accident.

This is a great loss. Bob was a scholar of immense energy and keen intelligence. His books will endure for a very long time, built as they are on careful scholarship and imaginative interpretation. Bob’s background in American Studies made him a pungent cultural historian of cinema long before Cultural Studies became a subfield of film studies. A researcher of old-fashioned virtues, he wrote with a transparency and vivacity that scholars seldom muster. He also didn’t shrink from political criticism, as seen in some of his work for Cineaste, a journal with which he was identified for many years.

Bob was a down-to-earth, good-humored guy. When David taught for a semester at NYU in 1979, Bob was a great boss, warning that one had to know every department’s “folkways.” When we were invited to China to lecture, the genial presence of Bob and Adrienne made it a trip we’ll always remember–not least for Bob’s daily quest to find a Times so he could check on baseball scores. This remarkable man will be much missed.

Matt Singer’s tribute to Robert Sklar is at IFC here.

PS 6 July: See also  Frances Guerin’s, Eric Kohn’s, and Jim Hoberman’s tributes to Bob.

PPS 8 July: See Richard Allen’s comprehensive tribute on the SCMS site, and the Variety story as well.

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