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The Way Hollywood Tells It: Story and Style in Modern Movies

The Way Hollywood Tells It: Story and Style in Modern Movies
Author: David Bordwell
ISBN 13: 9780520246225
ISBN 10: 520246225
Edition: N/A
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication Date: 2006-04-10
Format: Paperback
Pages: 309
List Price: $34.95

"This book is simply first-rate and exhaustive in terms of its scholarship and research, and is well-written, insightful, accessible, and engaging. Bordwell throws a wrench into the ways that Hollywood cinema since the 1960s is frequently taught and theorized, presenting a complex but clear picture that will stand as one of the most important books on American film from the 1960s to the present."—John Caldwell, Professor of Film and Television, UCLA

In The Way Hollywood Tells It, David Bordwell treats us to an analytic account and history of the craft of modern Hollywood filmmaking which is at once concise and detailed. There is no shortage of scholarly literature on contemporary Hollywood, but none of it lives up to the standards set by Bordwell here. No one else has this range, depth, sophistication or authority. More remarkable still, Bordwell pulls this off with remarkable lightness of touch."—Murray Smith, University of Kent

"David Bordwell is our best writer on the cinema. He is deeply informed about films, he loves them, and he writes about them with a clarity and perception that makes the prose itself a joy to read. Because he sees movies so freshly and deeply he isn't deceived by the usual categories and finds excellence and experiment in unexpected places. For him it's no simple matter of the mainstream vs. the indies. By showing, often in shot-by-shot detail, how films communicate through style as much as subject and story, his book is liberating, allowing us to see precisely what films are doing, and why. I find David Bordwell's book to be simply astonishing."—Roger Ebert

"David Bordwell applies the descriptive techniques he's brought to the study of Ozu and Dreyer to recent American narrative cinema with his usual passionate rigor. The resulting study is clear-eyed and comprehensive, easily the best book on the subject so far. Bordwell is particularly insightful about how new technologies serve both to enhance AND limit the expressive range of current movie story-telling."—Larry Gross

"Alternatingly analytical and informative, but always entertaining, David Bordwell's The Way Hollywood Tells It makes sense of the art and business of recent American cinema like nothing else out there. This book should be required reading for all of us!"—Mark Johnson

"There is nobody writing about film with the wisdom and insight of David Bordwell. His work makes me feel as though the creative process I know and live through writing and shooting films is being thoughtfully examined and put in a context. I recognize my journeys in his work and I learn about many other ways to journey as well. Bordwell shares and unfolds the meaningful linguistic/craft/syntactical choices all filmmakers make, from all cultures, choices besides the mere political, literary, symbolic and sexual which have been so saturated with attention. He finds the meaning in movies, instead of putting it there."—James Mangold, director of Walk the Line

Library Journal

The 1960s saw the decline of the studio system and the concomitant emancipation of stars and directors. Among other (literally) big changes, the epic blockbuster became more commonplace. Bordwell (film studies & humanities, emeritus, Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison; Film Art) discusses other ways movies have changed since the 1960s in two "essays," roughly divided into story and style. He takes a close look at the numerous published filmmaking manuals, many of them by Hollywood insiders, for clues to any sea change in thinking and finds most of them adhering to tried-and-true formulas. Bordwell also examines advances in technology, narrative, and the style (i.e., the "look") of films in such aspects as choice of viewpoint, framing, shot length and selection, the effects of television/video phenomena like rapid editing, and even lens size. A lengthy year-by-year time line outlines major occurrences in Hollywood cinema from 1960 to 2004. In concluding that there have been substantive changes, Bordwell makes some provocative points. This well-crafted but not easily accessible work is recommended for major cinema collections.-Roy Liebman, Los Angeles P.L. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.