Film scholar extraordinaire David Bordwell is among our most meticulous writers on the art of cinema, looking closely at the construction of a film to see what makes it work and how its technical approach reflects its historical moment. We naturally turned to Bordwell for an analysis of Carl Theodor Dreyer’s early silent comedy Master of the House, which seems somewhat anomalous in Dreyer’s body of work, known for its formal austerity. In the following excerpt from the visual essay he contributed to our release, Bordwell discusses the film’s focus on the textures of everyday life, its startling number of cuts (there are more shots in Master of the House than any other Danish film of the period, he says), and its relationship to the German Kammerspielfilm of the time, anti-spectacles about ordinary people.
Donald Richie Uncovers the Traces of a Lost Japan
In collaboration with director Lucille Carra, the renowned writer brought his impressionistic travelogue The Inland Sea—an unusual choice for a film adaptation—to the big screen.
A Palette That Sizzles On-Screen
Filmmaker Darnell Martin and writer Nelson George discuss how vividly Do the Right Thing captures the heat of a Brooklyn summer and the diverse skin tones of its cast of color.
A Genius of French Cinema Delivers a Career-Defining Performance
Raimu is at his subtle best in one of the most moving scenes in The Baker’s Wife, a moment in which the actor channels the collective despair of France’s working class.