Derik Badman's Journal

Content Tagged "David Bordwell"

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2019-10-16 08:31

My current reading is primarily been focused on David Bordwell's Ozu and the Poetics of Cinema. I decided I wanted to get a copy recently after rewatching some Ozu movies. When I went to Amazon to look it up, the page claimed I had ordered the book back in like 2010. I searched all around the house and could not find a copy, nor could I remember actually ever reading the book. It's been out of print for a long time, so even back then I had ordered it from a third party seller. I still don't know for sure, but I have this vague memory of the one time a book just never showed up and I have to think it was that one. So I reordered it this summer and thankfully it did show up.

It's an excellent read so far, starting with context about the film industry in Japan, Ozu's life, and different general analyses of his films. The latter part is then a sequential film-by-film discussion of all his work. Like good criticism/theory, Bordwell's writing makes me want to return to the object of his writing so I can get even more enjoyment from it via his insights and analyses. It helps a lot in this context that I've scene a lot of Ozu's movies, so I'm not coming to the text without knowledge of the films (and having read a few other books on Ozu too). Bordwell's focus on narration and structure really appeals to me. He doesn't avoid biography or history or theme or process, but he always comes back to how the films are put together narratively and visually.

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Tags:
  • Ozu
  • David Bordwell

2019-09-26 08:32

Since I've been watching more movies lately, I started reading David Bordwell's Narration in the Fiction Film the other night. I've had it on my shelf for years, but I don't think I ever actually read it. My copy is used and some person (probably an undergrad film student) heavily underlined in the first few chapters and included little comments (a lot of "Yes"), which really frustrates my own attempts to decide what is important. So far it's a mix of the familiar (lots of narratology a la Russian Formalists and Genette) and more film focused content that I am less experienced with. His discussion of ways the spectactor watches a movie and creates hypotheses that are constantly tested is quite interesting, and I know I explicitly do this a lot when watching. I make guesses based on genre or director or other knowledge as to what is or will happen in a narrative, and then adjust those guesses as I get more information. There's a nice long discussion on Rear Window that makes me want to rewatch.

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