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David Bordwell

Author of Film Art: An Introduction

35+ Works 2,669 Members 12 Reviews 4 Favorited

About the Author

David Bordwell is the Jacques Ledoux Professor of Film Studies Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. With Kristin Thompson, he is coauthor of Film History: An Introduction and the Film Arts: An Introduction and the blog Observations on Film Art, which can be found at show more http://www.davidbordwell.net/blog. show less

Includes the name: D Bordwell

Image credit: By Wasily at Dutch Wikipedia - Own work, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2927670


Works by David Bordwell

Film Art: An Introduction (1979) — Author — 1,292 copies
Film History: An Introduction (1994) — Author — 363 copies
Film Viewers Guide (2003) 78 copies
Post-Theory: Reconstructing Film Studies (1996) — Editor — 48 copies
The Cinema of Eisenstein (1993) 42 copies
Poetics of Cinema (2007) 36 copies

Associated Works


20th century (10) academic (9) aesthetics (18) art (42) China (9) cinema (141) cinema studies (11) criticism (11) Criticism & Theory (6) cultural studies (6) ebook (8) film (432) film art (7) film criticism (22) film history (67) film studies (92) film style (9) film theory (71) filmmaking (14) films (8) garage (9) history (37) Hollywood (21) Hong Kong (11) media (10) media studies (6) motion pictures (12) movies (47) non-fiction (149) own (12) owned (6) paperback (13) pdf (6) read (12) reference (30) textbook (46) textbooks (10) theory (24) to-read (53) unread (11)

Common Knowledge

Canonical name
Bordwell, David
Thompson, Kristin (spouse)



Movie-goers may enjoy sitting down with David Bordwell’s recent book, Perplexing Plots: Popular Storytelling and the Poetics of Murder(Columbia University Press, 2023). Similarly, devotees of the British Libraries’ Crime Classics series are likely to find Perplexing Plots a fun read. Just how might the structure of Anthony Berkeley’s The Poisoned Chocolates Case be relevant to modern movie-making?

A quick tour of the book’s index indicates an exciting scope of discussion. Yes, there are the standard “brand names” of 100 years of detective fiction – Christie, Chandler, Highsmith, Hammett, etc. – but there are also less well-known creators, such as Barbara Meredith, Richard Hull, and Frances Iles. The same is true of the films mentioned. Bordwell opens with a quick analysis of Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction, but also discusses directors Alfred Hitchcock and Christopher Nolan. The crossover between modern crime fiction and movie-making is analyzed by a thorough discussion of Gillian Flynn’s best-selling Gone Girl, film and novel.

There are brief obligatory references to film works by Jean Cocteau and Orson Welles, but Bordwell is primarily interested in how creators deliver meaning in the context of popular culture – think multiplex rather than art house. He monitors how creators convey the passage or shift of time, play with points of view,and juxtapose narrative blocks while delivering an immersive experience. Bordwell writes self-deprecatingly that there will be those who find his examination of narrative craftsmanship “plodding” but his prose is entirely accessible to a general readership.

This is one that is highly recommended.
… (more)
jillmwo | Jul 29, 2023 |
یکی از بهترین کتاب‌هایی که خوندم... یه جوری بود که هیچ احساس کمبودی نمی‌کنی از یه کتاب مرجع و انقدر روون نوشته شده و انقدر خوب با روابط علت و معلولی اجتماعی، سیاسی و تکنولوژی پیش می‌ره که هی جذب می‌شی این کتاب رو ادامه بدی. نمی‌دونم دیوید بوردول و کریستین تامپسن تو عمرشون چه‌قدر کتاب خوندند و فیلم دیدند تا تونستن این کتاب رو بنویسند. خیلی خوشحال شدم که تونستم این کتاب رو بخونم و یه توفیق اجباری شد.… (more)
Mahdi.Lotfabadi | Oct 16, 2022 |
Good overview, well-written. Analysis of films, many of them well-known to anyone interested in film, but also with a few "Haven't seen this, but now I'd like to check it out". Ample illustrations. For those who want to go more in-depth, there are references to blog entries. It's a textbook, not literature, but for what it is, it's very good.
HenrySt123 | 6 other reviews | Jul 19, 2021 |
"Film is an art form with a language and an aesthetic all its own. Since 1979, David Bordwell's and Kristin Thompson's Film Art has been the best-selling and widely respected introduction to the analysis of cinema. While it continues to provide the best introduction to the fundamentals of serious film study, the eighth edition has been revised be more classroom friendly by introducing film techniques earlier in the text, followed by the chapters on Film Genres. Supported by a text-specific Tutorial CD-ROM with video clips, Film Art is automatically packaged with this outstanding student learning tool"… (more)
Centre_A | 6 other reviews | Nov 27, 2020 |



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