The Films of Carl-Theodor Dreyer

ISBN 10: 0520044509 / ISBN 13: 9780520044500
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Synopsis: For decades Carl-Theodor Dreyer has been recognized as one of the great master stylists of the cinema. 'La Passion de Jeanne d'Arc,' Vampyr', 'Day of Wrath,' and 'Gertrud' are the most famous works of this rigorous, austere, and powerful filmmaker.

In the most extensive and intensive book yet devoted to Dreyer, David bordwell shows how Dreyere's films offer unique challenges to the dominant filmmaking style. He analyzes how Dreyer confronts the viewer with problems of attention, orientation, and narrative comprehension. In the early works, flat tableau compositions alternate with intensively active facial close-ups to shift our attention from physical action to psychological states. In the late masterpieces, Dreyer's style achieves its great complexity, compellingus to concentrate on nuances of space and time...in 'Jeanne d'Arc,' the close-up and a discontinuous space; in 'Vampyr,' an uncertain topography and wrenching camera movements; in 'Day of Wrath,' a circular staging of the action and a slowing of viewing time; in 'Ordet,' a theatrical use of the long take; and in 'Gertrud' an obstinate stasis that verges on boredom. Bordwell shows that Dreyer's style achieves its unique force by violating our expectations and by organizing our film experience in radically new ways.

All of Dreyer's works are discussed. Over 300 frame enlargements to clarify points of technique, Bordwell also examines the Hollywood filmmaking style, the concept of authorship in the cinema, and principles of narrative construction.

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Title: The Films of Carl-Theodor Dreyer
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