With the Harvey Weinstein scandal and the #MeToo movement reminding us all too vividly of flesh and blood Hollywood, David Bordwell’s cerebral Reinventing Hollywood: How 1940s filmmakers changed movie storytelling seems to come from another planet. But Bordwell, who is the Jacques Ledoux Professor of Film Studies Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, has spent a lifetime writing about ‘the genius of the system’ that is classical Hollywood, rather than the system’s individual geniuses. Generations of film students have absorbed his 1979 textbook Film Art: An introduction, now in its eleventh edition and translated into at least ten languages. His seventeen-plus books (many co-authored with his wife, Kristin Thompson), his long tenure on the editorial board of Cinema Journal, his blog, and his numerous consultancies all over the world make him one of the most influential film scholars of his generation. His planet, therefore, is mainstream American academia.
Desley Deacon reviews 'Reinventing Hollywood: How 1940s filmmakers changed movie storytelling' by David Bordwell
Reinventing Hollywood: How 1940s filmmakers changed movie storytelling
by David Bordwell
University of Chicago Press (Footprint), $84.99 hb, 572 pp, 9780226487755
Read the rest of this article by subscribing to ABR Online for as little as $10 a month. We offer a range of subscription options, including print, which can be found by clicking here. If you are already a subscriber, enter your username and password in the ‘Log In’ section in the top right-hand corner of the screen. If you require assistance, contact us or consult the Frequently Asked Questions page.
Desley Deacon is an academic and writer living in Sydney .She has just completed a biography of Australian-born actress Judith Anderson and is currently exploring aspects of feminism before Feminism in the early 1960s. She is currently revising a manuscript, Four Husbands, a Lover, and a Friend: Mary McCarthy’s Experiments in Heterosexuality, for University of Chicago Press. She was formerly Professor of History at the Australian National University, where she is now Professor Emerita, and taught for a number of years at the University of Texas at Austin. She is the author of Elsie Clews Parsons: Inventing Modern Life (University of Chicago Press), and Managing Gender: The State, the New Middle Class, and Women Workers 1830-1930 (OUP), and has co-edited, with Penny Russell and Angela Woollacott, two volumes on transnational biography.
By this contributor
Leave a comment
Please note that all comments must be approved by ABR and comply with our Terms & Conditions.
NB: If you are an ABR Online subscriber or contributor, you will need to login to ABR Online in order to post a comment. If you have forgotten your login details, or if you receive an error message when trying to submit your comment, please email your comment (and the name of the article to which it relates) to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will review your comment and, subject to approval, we will post it under your name.