38 Collections

  • VAMPYR: The Genre Film as Experimental Film

    1 season

    Observations on Film Art No. 34

    Carl Theodor Dreyer’s haunting 1932 masterpiece VAMPYR has long occupied a singular place in film history, resting somewhere at the intersection of horror, avant-garde cinema, and waking nightmare. In this episode of Observations on Film Art, Professor David Bordw...

  • Chaplin’s Comedy of Murders

    1 season

    Observations on Film Art No. 9

    From tramp to serial killer: find out how Charlie Chaplin reinvented himself for this pitch-black comedy.

  • Offscreen Sound in LA CÉRÉMONIE

    1 season

    Observations on Film Art No. 8

    Professor Jeff Smith demonstrates how Claude Chabrol manages to play his audience like a piano, evoking suspense, isolation, and class conflict through an expertly tuned soundtrack.

  • Staging in THE RULES OF THE GAME

    1 season

    Observations on Film Art No. 7

    Jean Renoir’s THE RULES OF THE GAME is famed for its deep-focus photography and intricate staging. Professor Kristin Thompson analyzes the elaborate construction—and mesmerizing chaos—of Renoir’s symphonic tragicomedy.

  • Camera Movement in THREE COLORS: RED

    1 season

    Observations on Film Art No. 6

    Professor Jeff Smith shows us how Krzysztof Kieślowski’s THREE COLORS: RED uses camera movements to establish elusive connections between two characters who are largely unaware of one another.

  • THE SPIRIT OF THE BEEHIVE: A Child’s Point of View

    1 season

    Observations on Film Art No. 5

    Using the great Spanish film THE SPIRIT OF THE BEEHIVE, by Victor Erice, professor Kristin Thompson shows how restricting us to a child's point of view can make the familiar seem strange and emphasize the horrors of war.

37 Videos

  • VAMPYR: The Genre Film as Experimental Film

    Observations on Film Art No. 34

    Carl Theodor Dreyer’s haunting 1932 masterpiece VAMPYR has long occupied a singular place in film history, resting somewhere at the intersection of horror, avant-garde cinema, and waking nightmare. In this episode of Observations on Film Art, Professor David Bordw...

  • In the Service of Horror—The Lyrical Cinematography of PICNIC AT HANGING ROCK

    Observations on Film Art No. 35

    Though its premise is not far removed from that of a straightforward horror movie, Peter Weir’s Australian New Wave classic PICNIC AT HANGING ROCK forgoes conventional shocks in favor of an eerie, otherworldly languor that’s closer to the moody atmospherics of an ...

  • Musical Motifs in BATTLE OF ALGIERS

    Observations on Film Art No. 36

    Ennio Morricone is perhaps the preeminent film composer of the last half century, an enormously influential artist whose iconic melodies and imaginative orchestrations grace some of the greatest films ever made. In this edition of Observations on Film Art, Profess...

  • Feminist Mise-en-scène in MY BRILLIANT CAREER

    Observations on Film Art No. 33

    Professor Jeff Smith explores Gillian Armstrong's use of lighting, costuming, and decor to upend conventionally masculine mythologies in MY BRILLIANT CAREER.

  • Withholding and Revealing in AN ANGEL AT MY TABLE

    Observations on Film Art No. 32

    Jane Campion came to international attention with her acclaimed sophomore feature AN ANGEL AT MY TABLE, a luminous adaptation of the memoirs of Janet Frame, tracing her journey from her childhood in New Zealand to her time in a mental hospital to her emergence as ...

  • Comedy, Suspense, and Three-Point Lighting in TO BE OR NOT TO BE

    Observations on Film Art No. 31

    In his audacious political satire TO BE OR NOT TO BE, Ernst Lubitsch pulls off the seemingly impossible by using a deadly serious, then-unfolding crisis—the Nazi occupation of Poland—as the backdrop for a hilarious and subversive screwball comedy. In this episode ...

  • The Long Take in SHOCK CORRIDOR

    Observations on Film Art No. 30

    Pitched at screaming, full-throttle intensity, Samuel Fuller’s SHOCK CORRIDOR plunges headlong into the delirium of a psych ward, finding in it a daring metaphor for the anxieties consuming early-sixties America, from racism and xenophobia to sexual politics and n...

  • Quicker Than the Eye: Editing in SANSHIRO SUGATA

    Our home film school continues with David Bordwell’s analysis of Akira Kurosawa’s first film, a showcase for the powerhouse director’s range of talents.