David Bordwell

BIRDMAN: Following Riggan’s Orders

David Bordwell takes a really in depth look at the Oscar Winner Birdman, from it’s story structure to how the one shot style both mimics traditional editing style while adding new dimension to the story. Birdman’s plot covers six days at a critical period in Riggan’s life. He’s an over-the-hill movie star identified with playing Read MoreRead More

EXODUS: GODS AND KINGS and the myth of authenticity

Film Historian David Bordwell dives really deep into the the crossroads of Egyptian history and entertainment in Exodus: Gods and Kings. One has to sympathize with filmmakers tackling a tale set in ancient Egypt. Its history just goes on and on. The date for the unification of Egypt under a single ruler and the invention of Read MoreRead More

Visual storytelling: Is that all?

David Bordwell examines both Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window and Brian De Palma’s Mission Impossible to see how visual storytelling isn’t just reliant on story but other conventions of story telling. The phrase “visual storytelling” is a very modern invention. It seems to be unknown before the mid-1940s, and it doesn’t really become common until the 1990s. It Read MoreRead More

What happened to the Two Shot?

David Boardwell laments the extinction of the two shot from western cinema but provides many examples of it popping up in Asian film. Of course two-shots are still with us, but they usually serve to set up passages of shot/ reverse-shot cutting. The sustained two-shot carrying long stretches of dialogue is increasingly rare in Hollywood Read MoreRead More

David Koepp: Making the World Movie-Sized

How do you survive in a Hollywood that seems to be a copy of itself? David Bordwell looks at the screenwriter David Koepp (Jurassic Park, Mission Impossible, Spiderman) for clues. For a long time, Hollywood movies have fed off other Hollywood movies. We’ve had sequels and remakes since the 1910s. Studios of the Golden Era relied Read MoreRead More

How Motion Pictures Became the Movies 1908-1920

David Bordwell lectures on the transitional period film experienced as it transitioned from a novelty into a fully fleshed entertainment medium. Today something new has been added. I’ve decided to retire some of the lectures I take on the road, and I’ll put them up as video lectures. They’re sort of Net substitutes for my Read MoreRead More