Saturday, April 08, 2006

http://www.cinema-scope.com/cs26/col_bordwell_backpage.htm

David Bordwell has written an attack on contemporary film criticism in the latest issue of Cinemascope. The above link will take you to an online text of his article. A compelling plea for critics to eschew cleverness and opinion for solid prose and insight. The timing is great, with Lopate's book and interview appearing within the past few weeks. I need to digest Bordwell's piece more carefully, but initially I agree with him. He thinks that both journalistic and academic critics both share the same failing: "muddy" writing, over-opinionated and too formulaic. Regrading formulas, he specifically sites film theory as having created a mechanism for bulk readings, rather than individual considerations, of movies.

A lot to consider. Bordwell also references several critics (Rivette, Bazin and Sontag) as being ideal models. I have several books by Andre Bazin, and have read several essays by Sontag, but I haven't come across Jacques Rivette's writings yet... I saw a colleciton of "Cahiers du Cinema" articles used last weekend and passed it up for some reason....strange that I can't think of WHY I wouldn't buy it, right now...

-Cullen

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