Bringing together twenty-five years of work on what he has called the historical poetics of cinema, David Bordwell presents an extended analysis of a key question for film studies: how are films made, in particular historical contexts, in order to achieve certain effects? For Bordwell, films are made things, existing within historical contexts, and aim to create determinate effects. Beginning with this central thesis, Bordwell works out a full understanding of how films channel and recast cultural influences for their cinematic purposes. With more than five hundred film stills, Poetics of Cinema is a must-have for any student of cinema.
David Bordwell, Jacques Ledoux Professor at the University of Wisconsin, is arguably the most influential scholar of film in the United States. The author, with his wife Kristin Thompson, of the standard textbook Film Art and a series of influential studies of directors (Eisenstein, Ozu, Dreyer) as well as periods and styles (Hong Kong cinema, Classical Hollywood cinema, among others), he has also trained a generation of professors of cinema studies, extending his influence throughout the world. His books have been translated into fifteen languages.