David Bordwell is a famous US film theorist, scholar, and film critic born on 23 July 1947. He worked at Wisconsin-Madison University, Emeritus in the Department of Communication Arts in the capacity of Jacques Ledoux Professor in the field of film sciences. David’s textbooks including Film History and Film Art gained remarkable attention worldwide especially in the United States in which his wife, Kristin Thompson contributed substantially. David is a wonderful content producer on films. He is a master of film-development process and staging illustrations. He is a productive researcher in which he focused extensively on national cinemas, auteur studies, narrative theory, and film history style. He established the foundation of cognitive film theory in which emphasis made on psychology of cognition as a foundation of comprehending influences on films. The cognitive psychology worked as a substitute to the psychoanalytic approach that governed researches conducted in the domain of film during the period of 1970s and 1980s.
David has associations with a practical approach called Neo-formalism that involved greater contribution of David’s wife, Kristin Thompson. This approach is particular to the film assessment on the grounds of perceptions initially executed by the literary scholars called Russian Formalists. The perception showed that there is a variation between the form that reveals the story and a story. For instance, in the case of a detective story, assassinate arrives at the onset of the range of occasions, but the process of identification allows to reveal details pertaining to murder at the culmination instead onset of the film. The substantial part of neo-formalism depicts the notion of “de-familiarization” which is the common terminology of neo-formalist for the fundamental objective of art in the lives of individuals that is to reveal recognizable thoughts in a way that promotes individuals to evaluate their personality in a unique way. There were many suppositions and methods established by various schools of thoughts in the domain of film studies but neo-formalists refused most of them.
The renowned approaches that faced refusal were hermeneutic (interpretive) approaches that covered particular deviations of post-structuralism and LACANIAN psychoanalysis. David and his Co-Editor Noel Carroll in post-theory that involve remanufacturing Film Studies, claimed against these forms of perceptions and treated them as “Grand Theories” that films apply to validate prearranged theoretical structures, instead pursuing to execute mid-oriented study that in fact clarify the working style of films. The scholars David and Carroll promoted the terminology “SLAB theory” for the purpose of referencing to theories that apply the notions of Lacan, Barthes, Saussure, and Althusser. There were majority of researchers that show critics on neo-formalism in which the Slavoj Zizek was the significant one, in which David himself remained a strategic critic. The criticism of scholars did not point out the domestic inconsistencies in neo-formalism but they claimed that neo-formalism is an excessively restricted approach that avoids incorporating cultural dimensions.
The observations of David Bordwell on film history enabled people at large to fathoming the difficulties and extent of film history. The study of David’s academic session simply adds to the experience of individuals. David combines theory, application and history in his session that allows individuals to acquaint with generation of ratios and their applications in films. There were few that suggested that no comprehensible, coherent “grant narrative” that accommodates every fact into a single platform whereas some proposed that the history of film encompass the execution of activities from varied aspects and with multiple objectives and interests.
Bordwell, D. (2008, September). David Bordwell's website on cinema. Retrieved November 25, 2014, from http://www.davidbordwell.net/essays/doing.php
Kenji. (2009). DAVID BORDWELL'S FAVOURITE FILMS. Retrieved November 25, 2014, from https://mubi.com/lists/david-bordwells-favourite-films
Renee, V. (2013, August 30). A Complete History of CinemaScope with Film Historian David Bordwell. Retrieved November 25, 2014, from http://nofilmschool.com/2013/08/complete-history-of-cinemascope-david-bordwell