What’s your favorite movie?
I can’t pick just one… but if you pressed me, I’d probably say either North by Northwest, Rear Window, The Seventh Seal, Crimes and Misdemeanors, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Lawrence of Arabia, WALL-E, Children of Men, There Will Be Blood, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly, Sherlock Jr., or Galaxy Quest.
I’m working on a movie! Can you help?
Sure! Send me an email! firstname.lastname@example.org
Who is this David Bordwell guy and why do you keep talking about him?
David Bordwell is the Jacques Ledoux Professor Emeritus at the University of Wisconson-Madison. With his wife, Kristin Thompson, he has written one of the standard film studies textbooks, Film Art, among various other books and articles on the work of directors Eisenstein, Ozu, and Dreyer, as well as the cinemas of Hollywood and Hong Kong. His website is www.davidbordwell.net.
Oh. He sounds like some stuffy academic-type.
Actually, he’s one of the most accessible film theorists I’ve come across. His ideas are very practical, and not hard to understand.
So what does he write about?
DB is probably best known for describing the concept of “Intensified Continuity,” an evolution of classical continuity editing into something faster and flashier. Since the late 1960s, for a variety of reasons, filmmakers have made their films to deliver one piece of information in each shot- a line delivery, an important prop, etc. Once we see it, they cut to something else. The result is lots of very fast close up shots- The Bourne Trilogy is a textbook example- often at the expense of wider views of a scene, and ensemble staging of actors. It’s not bad by itself, but people often think this is the only option.
Gee, this Intensified Continuity sounds like it restricts filmmakers from exploiting the full expressive power of their medium.
Well, it does.
What are you working on now?
I’m mainly trying to get jobs working on films however I can. On the side, I’m currently writing a script for a feature- all I can say now is that it’s a science ficiton Political Thriller.
Dude! You should make a porno!
While I concede that eroticism for its own sake has a time and a place, I don’t think the time will be soon, and the place is probably not in my work. No thanks.
How many of these questions have you actually been asked?
You liked dinosaurs as a kid. T-rex: Fearsome predator or lowly scavenger?
I agree with amateur paleontologists Calvin and Hobbes when I say predator, because they’re so much cooler that way.
You sound like a Communist, a luddite, and a pacifist. What do you have to say for yourself?
Communism is a hopelessly flawed system prone to corruption, I couldn’t live without my computer, and I know more than a few people who could use a swift kick in the pants.
Kirk or Picard?
How many movies have you seen?
Almost all of them.
Is answering these questions something like an out-of-body experience?
You tell me.
I saw on the news that you’re wanted by the Cinemetropolis Police Department for the deaths of over a dozen fictional characters. Is there any truth to those charges, and the rumors that you are the Author of Cinemetropolis?
I always have, and will continue to deny that I am the Author of Cinemetropolis. This whole business with a dozen deceased characters is a big misunderstanding. Each and every one of them had it coming.
Do you solemnly swear to use your powers only for good?