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TitleTheory of Film Practice
PublisherPrinceton University Press
CategoryArts - Film
File Size3.8 MB
Total Pages182
Document Text Contents
Page 91


Page 182


Theory of Film Practice

This classic in film studies presents a systematic analysis of the tec h­
niques of the film medium and of the i r poten tial uses for creati ng formal
structures i n i nd ividual fi lms . The author d iscusses strategies for c reati ng
spatial and tempora l re lat ions , graphic re lations resu l t ing from editi ng ,
the use of sound, and different types of fictional and non - fictio na l
subjects , i n add it ion to the pa rts played by chance and aggression in
classic and contempora ry film. Cl ose observation of fi lms such as
Dovzhenko's Ea rth , Anton ion i 's La Notte, Bresson ' s Au Hasa rd Bal­
thazar, Renoi r's Na n a , Godard's Pierrot le Fou , and Hitch cock's The
Birds support the autho r 's m eth odol ogy .
"Th is book . was a fantasy-crea tion , a set of presc ript ions for fi l m ­
maki ng, l a id down by someone w h o had ( a lmost) never m a d e a fi l m .
I t stood i n l ieu of those unmade fi lms"-from the 1 980 Foreword

"Burch provides th ose a l ready convi nced of [the va lue of fo rmal is t c in­
ema ] with a n extrao rd i n a r i ly precise and comprehens ive taxonomy of
the formal va ri a tions each shot tra nsi t ion can empl oy . Hence the
a ma lgam of theory and practice promised by the book's tit le : Practi­
t ioners a re encouraged to assess the theoretical impl ications of the i r
i ntu it ive , tech nica l decis ions ; theoretic ians are offered a m u c h more
exacti ng voca bulary for descr ibing shot transit iom whose complexity
might otherwise have gone unnoticed . "

-Roger R . Copeland , Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism
"Proba bly the most importan t fo rmal study of c inema s i nce the death
of E isenstei n . "-Jonathan Rosenba u m , The Village Voice
Noel Bu rch i s Vis i ting Professor of Fi lm at Oh io S tate U nivers i ty and
author of To the Dista n t Observer: Form a n d Mea n ing in Japa nese
Cinema (Ca l iforn ia ) . He fou nded l ' lnstitut de Fo rma tion Ci nemato­

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