Making Meaning: Inference and Rhetoric in the Interpretation of Cinema (Harvard Film Studies)

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9780674543355: Making Meaning: Inference and Rhetoric in the Interpretation of Cinema (Harvard Film Studies)

David Bordwell's new book is at once a history of film criticism, an analysis of how critics interpret film, and a proposal for an alternative program for film studies. It is an anatomy of film criticism meant to reset the agenda for film scholarship. As such Making Meaning should be a landmark book, a focus for debate from which future film study will evolve.

Bordwell systematically maps different strategies for interpreting films and making meaning, illustrating his points with a vast array of examples from Western film criticism. Following an introductory chapter that sets out the terms and scope of the argument, Bordwell goes on to show how critical institutions constrain and contain the very practices they promote, and how the interpretation of texts has become a central preoccupation of the humanities. He gives lucid accounts of the development of film criticism in France, Britain, and the United States since World War II; analyzes this development through two important types of criticism, thematic-explicatory and symptomatic; and shows that both types, usually seen as antithetical, in fact have much in common. These diverse and even warring schools of criticism share conventional, rhetorical, and problem-solving techniques--a point that has broad-ranging implications for the way critics practice their art. The book concludes with a survey of the alternatives to criticism based on interpretation and, finally, with the proposal that a historical poetics of cinema offers the most fruitful framework for film analysis.

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Review:

Few books of film criticism are as daring and controversial as Making Meaning. In the tradition of Terry Eagleton's Literary Theory: An Introduction and Fredric Jameson's The Political Unconscious, David Bordwell looks back at the work done in his field, summarizes its strengths, criticizes its weaknesses, and proposes a new point of departure. The result is an arresting overview of contemporary film theory that also exposes its shortcomings. Bordwell concludes that most film criticism and theory is tied to the idea of making meaning, unpacking the overt or hidden messages that lie within the movie. Prophesying that a new era of analysis is before us, Bordwell calls for film scholarship that will both complement and transcend mere interpretation.

From the Back Cover:

This book is at once a history of film criticism, and analysis of how critics interpret films, and suggestion for some alternative research programs. I want to describe how an institution constructs and constrains what is thought and said by its members, and how the members solve routine problems by producing acceptable discourse.

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Bordwell, David
Editorial: Harvard University Press (1989)
ISBN 10: 0674543351 ISBN 13: 9780674543355
Nuevos Tapa dura Cantidad: 2
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Descripción Harvard University Press, 1989. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. Never used!. Nº de ref. de la librería P110674543351

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Bordwell, David
Editorial: Harvard University Press
ISBN 10: 0674543351 ISBN 13: 9780674543355
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Descripción Harvard University Press. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. 0674543351 New Condition. Nº de ref. de la librería NEW7.1189740

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David Bordwell
Editorial: Harvard University Press (1989)
ISBN 10: 0674543351 ISBN 13: 9780674543355
Nuevos Tapa dura Cantidad: 1
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Irish Booksellers
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Descripción Harvard University Press, 1989. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. book. Nº de ref. de la librería M0674543351

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