CINEMA 1: THE MOVING IMAGE & CINEMA 2: THE TIME IMAGE
Author: Gilles Deleuze
Cinema 1 : the Movement-Image is a 1983 book by the philosopher Gilles Deleuze, in which the author combines philosophy with film criticism. In the preface to the French edition Deleuze says that, “This study is not a history of cinema. It is a taxonomy, an attempt at the classifications of images and signs” and acknowledges the influence of the American pragmatist C. S. Peirce and the French philosopher Henri Bergson (p. xiv). The cinema covered in the book ranges from the silent era to the 1970s, and includes the work of D. W. Griffith, Abel Gance, Erich von Stroheim, Charlie Chaplin, Sergei Eisenstein, Luis Buñuel, Howard Hawks, Robert Bresson, Jean-Luc Godard, Sidney Lumet and Robert Altman.
Philosophy | ★★★★½
Cinema 2: the Time Image offers a fascinating analysis of the representation of time in film and the cinematic treatment of memory, thought and speech, and looks at the work of Godard, Hitchcock and Welles.
Philosophy | ★★★½
FIGURES TRACED IN LIGHT: ON CINEMATIC STAGING
Author: David Bordwell
A film tells its story not only through dialogue and actors’ performances but also through the director’s control of movement and shot design. Figures Traced in Light is a detailed consideration of how cinematic staging carries the story, expresses emotion, and beguiles the audience through pictorial composition. Ranging over the entire history of cinema, David Bordwell focuses on four filmmakers’ unique contributions to the technique. In-depth chapters examine Louis Feuillade, master of the 1910s serial; Kenji Mizoguchi, the great Japanese director who worked from the 1920s to the 1950s; Theo Angelopoulos, who began his career as a political modernist in the late 1960s; and Hou Hsiao-hsien, the Taiwanese filmmaker who in the 1980s became the preeminent Asian director. For comparison, Bordwell draws on films by Howard Hawks, Michelangelo Antonioni, Yasujiro Ozu, Takeshi Kitano, and many other directors. Figures Traced in Light situates its close analysis of model sequences in the context of the technological, industrial, and cultural trends that shaped the directors’ approaches to staging.
Cinematography / Acting / Directing | ★★★★
WKW: THE CINEMA OF WONG KAR WAI
Author: Kar-Wai Wong & John Powers
Wong Kar Wai is known for his romantic and stylish films that explore-in saturated, cinematic scenes-themes of love, longing, and the burden of memory. His style reveals a fascination with mood and texture, and a sense of place figures prominently. In this volume, the first on his entire body of work, Wong Kar Wai and writer John Powers explore Wong’s complete oeuvre in the locations of some of his most famous scenes. The book is structured as six conversations between Powers and Wong (each in a different locale), including the restaurant where he shot In the Mood for Love and the snack bar where he shot Chungking Express. Discussing each of Wong’s eleven films, the conversations also explore Wong’s trademark themes of time, nostalgia, and beauty, and their roots in his personal life. This first book by Wong Kar Wai, lavishly illustrated with more than 250 photographs and film stills and featuring an opening critical essay by Powers, is as evocative as walking into one of Wong’s lush films.
Famous Directors | ★★★★
FILM: A WORLD HISTORY
Author: Daniel Borden , Florian Duijsens , Thomas Gilbert & Adele Smith
Organized both chronologically and thematically, an overview of film history ranges from its earliest origins, through the eventful era of the twentieth century, to the present day, charting significant cinematic movements and genres, detailing the evolution of the movie industry, and profiling the great directors and actors, past and present.
Cinema History / Film Guide | ★★★½