Poetics of Cinema

Poetics of Cinema

Bringing together twenty-five years of work on what he has called the "historical poetics of cinema," David Bordwell presents an extended analysis of a key question for film studies: how are films made, in particular historical contexts, in order to achieve certain effects? For Bordwell, films are made things, existing within historical contexts, and aim to create determinate effects. Beginning with this central thesis, Bordwell works out a full understanding of how films channel and recast cultural influences for their cinematic purposes. With more than five hundred film stills, Poetics of Cinema is a must-have for any student of cinema.

Poetics of Cinema

Poetics of Cinema

Chilean filmmaker Raoul Ruiz is the author of some 100 feature-length films, along with numerous plays and multi-media installations. In Poetics of Cinema, Ruiz takes a fresh approach to the major themes haunting our audio-visual civilization: the filmic unconscious, questions of utopia, the inter-contamination of images, the art of the copy, the relations between artistic practices and institutions. Based on a series of lectures given recently at Duke University in North Carolina, Poetics of Cinemadevelops an acerbically witty critique of the reigning codes of cinematographic narration, principally derived from the dramatic theories set forth by Aristotle's Poeticsand characterized by Ruiz as the "central-conflict theory." Ruiz's impressive knowledge of theology, philosophy, literature and the visual arts never outstrips his powerful imagination. Poetics of Cinemanot only offers a singularly pertinent analysis of the seventh art, but also shows us an entirely new way of writing and thinking about images.

Andrei Tarkovsky’s Poetics of Cinema

Andrei Tarkovsky’s Poetics of Cinema

“If you look for a meaning, you’ll miss everything that happens.” Almost twenty-five years after the death of Andrei Tarkovsky, the mystery of his films remains alive and well. Recent years have witnessed an ever-increasing number of film theorists, critics and philosophers taking up the challenge to decipher what these films actually mean. But what do these films actually show us? In this study Thomas Redwood undertakes a close formal analysis of Tarkovsky’s later films. Charting the stylistic and narrative innovations in Mirror, Stalker, Nostalghia and The Sacrifice, Redwood succeeds in shedding new light on these celebrated but often misunderstood masterpieces of narrative film. Tarkovsky is revealed here both as a cinematic thinker and as an artistic practitioner, a filmmaker of immense poetic significance for the history of cinema.

Ozu and the Poetics of Cinema

Ozu and the Poetics of Cinema

Over the last two decades, Yasujiro Ozu has won international recognition as a major filmmaker. Combining biographical information with discussions of the films' aesthetic strategies and cultural significance, David Bordwell questions the popular image of Ozu as the traditional Japanese artisan and examines the aesthetic nature and functions of his cinema.Over the last two decades, Yasujiro Ozu has won international recognition as a major filmmaker. Combining biographical information with discussions of the films' aesthetic strategies and cultural significance, David Bordwell questions the popular image of Ozu as the traditional Japanese artisan and examines the aesthetic nature and functions of his cinema.

The Politics and Poetics of Cinematic Realism

The Politics and Poetics of Cinematic Realism

Hermann Kappelhoff casts the evolution of cinema as an ongoing struggle to relate audiences to their historical moment. Appreciating cinema's unique ability to bind concrete living conditions to individual experience (which existing political institutions cannot), he reads films by Sergei Eisenstein and Pedro Almodóvar, by the New Objectivity and the New Hollywood, to demonstrate how cinema situates spectators within society. Kappelhoff applies the Deleuzean practice of "thinking in images" to his analysis of films and incorporates the approaches of Jacques Rancière and Richard Rorty, who see politics in the permanent reconfiguration of poetic forms. This enables him to conceptualize film as a medium that continually renews the audiovisual spaces and temporalities through which audiences confront reality. Revitalizing the reading of films by Visconti, Fassbinder, Kubrick, Friedkin, and others, Kappelhoff affirms cinema's historical significance while discovering its engagement with politics as a realm of experience.

This Is Called Moving

A Critical Poetics of Film

This Is Called Moving

Writings on film from an award-winning filmmaker and poet. As the writer, director, producer, and cinematographer of almost all her 30 films, videos, and shorts, Abigail Child has been recognized as a major and influential practitioner of experimental cinema since the early 1970s. Hallmarks of her style are the appropriation and reassembly of found footage and fragments from disparate visual sources, ranging from industrial films and documentaries to home movies, vacation photography, and snippets of old B movies. The resulting collages and montages are cinematic narratives that have been consistently praised for their beauty and sense of wonder and delight in the purely visual. At the same time, Child's films are noted for their incisive political commentary on issues such as gender and sexuality, class, voyeurism, poverty, and the subversive nature of propaganda. In the essays of This Is Called Moving, Child draws on her long career as a practicing poet as well as a filmmaker to explore how these two language systems inform and cross-fertilize her work. For Child, poetry and film are both potent means of representation, and by examining the parallels between them—words and frames, lines and shots, stanzas and scenes—she discovers how the two art forms re-construct and re-present social meaning, both private and collective.

Post-classical Cinema

An International Poetics of Film Narration

Post-classical Cinema

Does the term 'post-classical' have any relevance in current debates on contemporary cinema? This book offers a positive answer with the help of historical poetics and a number of contemporary popular films from across the globe. Chungking Express (1994), Trainspotting (1996), Run Lola Run (1998), Fight Club (1999), Magnolia (1999), Requiem for a Dream (2000), Amelie (2001), Moulin Rouge (2001), City of God (2002), and Oldboy (2003) are some of the examples analysed here in depth in order to map the formal principles of post-classical cinema. With a strong foothold in the United States, Europe, Asia and Latin America the post-classical mode of narration offers contemporary filmmakers a fresh set of creative options for staging, framing and editing their stories. With meticulous emphasis on formal distinctions this volume differentiates the post-classical paradigm from the powerful classical Hollywood tradition and opens up the territory for new formal frameworks and concepts.

The Poetics of Chinese Cinema

The Poetics of Chinese Cinema

This book examines the aesthetic qualities of particular Chinese-language films and the rich artistic traditions from which they spring. It brings together leading experts in the field, and encompasses detailed and wide-ranging case studies of films such as Hero, House of Flying Daggers, Spring in a Small Town, 24 City, and The Grandmaster, and filmmakers including Hou Hsiao-hsien, Jia Zhangke, Chen Kaige, Fei Mu, Zhang Yimou, Johnnie To, and Wong Kar-wai. By illuminating the form and style of Chinese films from across cinema history, The Poetics of Chinese Cinema testifies to the artistic value and uniqueness of Chinese-language filmmaking.

What Is Film Theory?

What Is Film Theory?

"What is Film Theory? outlines the discipline's key theoretical concepts, perspectives, and traditions, and critically examines the assertions posited by exemplary film theorists and philosophers of film. A step-by-step approach to these issues guides the reader through the central topics of film theory. Beginning with a discussion of structuralism and semiotics, and moving through debates on psychoanalysis, feminism, Screen theory, and cultural studies, the authors then examine the perspectives of 'post-theory', cognitivism, and historical poetics, as well as recent developments such as audience research and the 'cinema of attractions'. Analysis of the major theories is supported with detailed and wide-ranging case studies of particular films, including Singin' in the Rain, The Searchers, Tout va bien, Jaws, Do the Right Thing, Brokeback Mountain, and Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. These case studies are accompanied by a series of illustrative film and production stills."--Back cover.

The Cinema of Robert Lepage

The Poetics of Memory

The Cinema of Robert Lepage

The Cinema of Robert Lepage is the first critical study of one of the most striking artists of Quebecois and Canadian independent filmmaking. The book examines Lepage's creative methods of filmmaking in their cultural and social context and argues that his work cannot be seen separately from his oeuvre as a multidisciplinary artist and challenges the notions that Lepage should be considered only in the terms of Quebecois film tradition. The author explores such themes with Lepage in a new exclusive and detailed interview.