Lazy Saturday Night Reads

One or two other notes about the Bordwell blog entry I mentioned earlier. Like Jim Thompson, I was intrigued by Bordwell’s discussion of the connections between storytelling techniques in film and in other media such as television and graphic novels. Both Thompson and Bordwell point to Jason Mittell’s recent Velvet Light Trap article “Narrative Complexity in Comntemporary American Television”, which addresses many of these concerns (more on the Mittell article later, hopefully).

Jim Thompson’s pointer also reminded me to revisit Kristin Thompson’s discussion of the various DVD versions of The DaVinci Code, where she explains that an extended version of the film is available pretty much everywhere except the US. But I was more intrigued to learn that Bordwell and Thompson are planning to include “recommended DVD extras” at the end of every chapter of the forthcoming edition of Film Art. I’ve been using Corrigan and White’s The Film Experience recently, with some success, but I’ll be very interested to see how these revisions play out. Like Chris, I’ve been thinking about film textbooks quite a bit lately, and I think that DVD extras can be used in the classroom in some very effective ways.

Completely unrelated to the above: I drove up to Durham last night to catch Old Joy (IMDB) at the Carolina Theater, based laregly on the recommendations of a few film bloggers whose taste I appreciate, and I’m really glad I made the trip, even if that meant driving over an hour back to F’ville in a monsoon. Kelly Reichardt’s quiet, minimalist film follows two old friends, Mark (Daniel London) and Kurt (Will Oldham) as they travel to hot springs in the mountains. There is a gap between the two old friends who have drifted apart after Mark married and settled down while Kurt continues to drift from job to job and place to place. I shouldn’t keep promising to write longer reviews, but I really liked this film and would like to encourage others to see it by giving it the attention it deserves. I’m just not sure I’ll have time to do that with all of the syllabus prep and other writing I need to be doing this weekend.

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