Formal Matters

Formal Matters : Studies in Film Adaptation and (Re)valuation

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With elegance, clarity, and rigor, the author tries to demonstrate that the cinema means as well as shows. His essays are thus acts of analysis and interpretation in the humanistic sense of those words. One purpose of Formal Matters: Studies in Film Adaptation and (Re)valuation is to stake out territory for a certain type of film critic, somewhere between a reviewer-journalist and a scholar-theorist. At a time when the movie review has degenerated into mere publicity for Hollywood pictures and film scholarship has become entangled in its own pseudo-scientific discourse, the author offers close readings of individual films, and film adaptations, which go beyond simple plot summaries and vague impressions about acting (the province of the newspaper review). Yet they also pull up short of oracular theoretical pronouncements on the state of the art (the province of the academic monograph). Formal Matters is arranged thematically into three sections, from an investigation of the adaptation of both drama and fiction into film, to a consideration of the relationship between theater and film, to a (re)classification of classics like La Regle du jeu, L'eclisse, and Vengeance Is Mine. "Bert Cardullo's work is one of the brightest beacon lights in the world of film criticism, and each of his new collections makes that light shine even more brightly." - Stanley Kauffmann, American film critic. "Bert Cardullo is a fabulous viewer of movies. He practices a kind of film criticism that gives first place to one's instinct for seeing possibilities in films and for identifying films to see possibilities within. His essays are remarkable for their range and masterful in their use of language." - Dudley Andrew, Yale University. "Bert Cardullo's articles and reviews are intelligent, original, and highly informed. I have been a sturdy admirer of his work for years; he's a solid writer and an equally solid judge. Because of his vast knowledge of the movies, not to speak of the theater, Cardullo is able to make fascinating connections in showing how different works throw a light on one another." -Frederick Morgan, American poet. "Among my contemporaries, the best film critic writing in English in America is Bert Cardullo. He is a worthy successor to James Agee, Dwight Macdonald, Stanley Kauffmann, John Simon, and Vernon Young. I read a few others infrequently (Jonathan Rosenbaum, J. Hoberman, and Geoffrey Cheshire), if only because, while I sometimes disagree with them, I never seem to learn anything from the disagreement-which is never so with a great critic." - Dan Harper, American film scholar
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Product details

  • Paperback | 446 pages
  • 152 x 228 x 30mm | 721.21g
  • New Academia Publishing, LLC
  • Washington, United States
  • English
  • New.
  • 1, black & white illustrations
  • 098368992X
  • 9780983689928