David Bordwell (born 23 July 1947) is an American film theorist and film critic. Since receiving his PhD from the University of Iowa in 1974, he has written more than fifteen volumes on the subjects of film theory, film analysis, and film history including Narration in the Fiction Film (1985), Ozu and the Poetics of Cinema (1988), Making Meaning (1989), and On the History of Film Style (1997).
With his wife Kristin Thompson, Bordwell wrote the introductory textbooks Film Art (1979) and Film History (1994). With philosopher Noël Carroll, Bordwell edited the anthology Post-Theory: Reconstructing Film Studies (1996), a polemic on the state of contemporary film theory. His largest work to date remains The Classical Hollywood Cinema: Film Style and Mode of Production to 1960 (1985), written in collaboration with Thompson and Janet Staiger. Several of his more influential articles on theory, narrative, and style were collected in Poetics of Cinema (2007), named in homage after the famous anthology of Russian formalist film theory Poetika Kino (1927).
Bordwell spent the near-entirety of his career as a professor of film at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he is currently the Jacques Ledoux Professor of Film Studies, Emeritus in the Department of Communication Arts. He and Thompson maintain the blog "Observations on film art" for their recent ruminations on cinema.
Making Meaning: Inference and Rhetoric in the Interpretation of Cinema
Film History: An Introduction
Kristin Thompson, David Bordwell
Film Art: An Introduction
By David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson
Narration in the Fiction Film
English | University of Wisconsin Press | ISBN: 0299101746 | 1985 | PDF | 377 pages | 128.68 MB
What is cinematic storytelling? How can we understand its technique and complexities? What are its extents and limitations? In this monumental work, David Bordwell catalogues every aspect of film narrative, offering insight into an amazing variety of fiction films. The author, who is as comfortable talking about Al Jolson movies as he is describing the career of Jean-Luc Godard, has made a major contribution to film studies and the field of narrative theory.
'This book is of crucial importance to film specialists. I cannot think that any film teacher/scholar would miss reading this work.'
Don Fredricksen, Cornell University