Saturday, April 08, 2006

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...



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