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David Bordwell - 1947-2024

David Bordwell – 1947-2024

Film scholar David Bordwell has passed away at the age of 76 after a long struggle with a degenerative lung disease. The name would be familiar to anyone who has taken film school, as he was one of the key figures in film studies. Along with his wife and fellow University of Wisconsin-Madison film professor Kristin Thompson, Bordwell was the author of the film studies textbook Film Art: An Introduction, which was first published in 1979 and continues to be part of a film studies curriculum.

Me with my copy of Film Art: An Introduction, written by David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson.
Me with my copy of Film Art: An Introduction

Indeed, when I was majoring in Cinema and Media Studies at York University, not only was Film Art: An Introduction one of my required textbooks, but the first-year theory course was named after the book. It was with this book I learned about identifying different shots, mise en scene, and the difference between plot and story in a film’s narrative.

A decade ago I had to opportunity to see David Bordwell in person when he gave a lecture at the TIFF Lightbox. The lecture is available to watch on TIFF’s YouTube channel, so I figured it would be the perfect way to end this obituary. The world of film studies has lost one of his key figures and David Borwell will most definitely be missed.

David Bordwell Lecture – TIFF Higher Learning: ART of the MARTIAL ARTS FILM (June 10, 2013)

This post was proofread by Grammarly 
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