i came across this article in the new york times today and found myself fondly remembering my own first encounter with david bordwell's seminal "film art" in my intro to film class back in the day. anyone who's dabbled in film classes will no doubt be familiar with it. what i didn't know is that the well known scholar and academic is retired but still busily entrenched in the world of film appreciation and runs a blog on his musings. considering he is very much part of the film establishment, i just find it really cool that he still writes in a way that is accessible and shows his love for movies. manohla dargis agrees and mentions her own disenfranchisement with the sort of high theory of feminism, psychoanalysis and academia which one discovers after the university can seem at odds with simply writing about and enjoying movies. in many ways this is the age old tension that exists between the academy and the business world. reconciling the two can be tough. as such learning about film, it's history, tropes and ultimately deconstructing it is the double edged sword that through the learned process of extreme criticism can lead students to destroy the thing they love.
bordwell's enthusiasm is refreshing to read about, especially as i myself have taken the last several years to recover from a sort of post traumatic film school syndrome- that cynical psychological stance that renders you unable to get excited about movies or ever even thinking about getting involved in making another one. bordwell however seems to have held on to that love of movies. his knowledge seems to spur his interests rather than strangle them. which is neat.
photo by manohla dargis for the new york times