• 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...

  • 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...

  • 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
    12:29
    Feminist Mise-en-scène in M...

    Feminist Mise-en-scène in MY BRILLIANT CAREER

    Feminist Mise-en-scène in MY BRILLIANT CAREER - 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
    10:43
    Withholding and Revealing i...

    Withholding and Revealing in AN ANGEL AT MY TABLE

    Withholding and Revealing in AN ANGEL AT MY TABLE - 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...

  • 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.

  • The Restraint of L’AVVENTURA

    1 season

    Observations on Film Art No. 4

    Professor David Bordwell applies his analysis of film language to Michelangelo Antonioni’s L’AVVENTURA, illustrating how the director uses careful staging and methodical framing to keep us guessing about his characters’ feelings and motivations.

  • Abbas Kiarostami: The Character of Landscape, the Landscape of Character

    1 season

    Observations on Film Art No. 3

    In the third installment in our ongoing introduction to film language, Professor Kristin Thompson offers an analysis of the legendary Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami's quiet genius.

  • The Revolutionary Subjectivity of MEMORIES OF UNDERDEVELOPMENT

    1 season

    Observations on Film Art No. 26

    The first Cuban film to garner international attention in the years following the nation’s 1959 revolution, Tomás Gutiérrez Alea’s MEMORIES OF UNDERDEVELOPMENT remains one of the most important works of the influential Third Cinema movement that emerged in the ...

  • LYDIA and the Power of Flashbacks

    1 season

    Observations on Film Art No. 25

    Professor David Bordwell illuminates how Julien Duvivier’s haunting, exquisitely bittersweet romantic drama deploys intricate, subjective flashback sequences to enhance its sublime emotional impact.

  • Widescreen Composition in SHOOT THE PIANO PLAYER

    1 season

    Observations on Film Art No. 24

    Professor Jeff Smith explores how François Truffaut harnesses the 2.35:1 aspect ratio in his wildly playful gangster-movie pastiche, a giddy high point in the French New Wave’s assault on cinematic convention.

  • Mutations of Memory: Editing in HIROSHIMA MON AMOUR

    1 season

    Observations on Film Art No. 23

    Professor David Bordwell traces the ways in which director Alain Resnais and screenwriter Marguerite Duras retooled cinematic language to evoke the texture of memory in their 1959 masterpiece.

  • Dissolves in THE LONG DAY CLOSES

    1 season

    Observations on Film Art No. 22

    Professor Kristin Thompson explores the ways in which dissolves allow Terence Davies to mimic the fluidity and emotional texture of memory in his elegiac coming-of-age film.