all posts in the 'Bordwell' category


The Narrational Modes of Annie Hall

In class today, we discussed Annie Hall in relation to the modes of art cinema, classical Hollywood and a touch of parametric narration. At the time I had a half-baked sort of though about historical-materialism, but couldn’t formulate it enough to possibly warrant mentioning it in class. But now that I’ve had a chance to marinate, […]

Classical Hollywood versus Art Cinema Modes

A la the closing comment of Professor Mittell yesterday, I left class thinking about the distinction between Hollywood and Art Cinema as modes of narration, and how they applied to our screenings thus far. Reflecting on the year to date in light of these distinctions, I find our first screenings to be the most interesting […]

Wherefore Art Thou, oh Narrator?

Chatman argues persuasively (at least, once it got translated into human-speak in class–hats off to Professor Mittell for that one) that the viewer constructs a cinematic narrator and implied author while watching a film text. At the time, it made sense. Anyone “reading” a film will create a prime mover behind every choice in the […]

Seriality in Narrative

We’ve talked a lot about how the viewer is considered active in Bordwell’s model. They use schemata to evaluate the information provided by syuzhet and style to construct fabula. The viewer makes assumption, inferences and hyptheses, which are then proved or disproved when the narrative provides more depth, range and communicativeness. And now that I’ve […]

Constructing Narrative in Political Campaigns

Right now, like many, I have politics on the brain. A lot. And what better way to vent my obsession than to examine the deliberate construction of personas (characters) for our favorite political figures of the day in my blog? I’m going to try to leave my beliefs out of it as much as possible […]

The “Twist” Genre and the Crying Game

Bordwell’s definitions of fabula and syuzhet help illuminate exactly how the “twist” genre, as explored by Erlend Lavik, operates. Typically in these films (and if memory serves, The Sixth Sense is no exception), the syuzhet is deliberately constructed so as to encourage the viewer to ask the wrong questions and thus arrive at the wrong fabula. Then, […]

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