Book Review: The Language and Style of Film Criticism
As published in Light & Shadow
"Finding the Beauty–Book Review: The Language and Style of Film Criticism"
Light & Shadow: BU's Graduate Film and Culture review blog
By Nicholas Forster
July 14, 2011
Read the entire review here.
"Theory is dead. Well, so I am told. Since the 1990s critics, authors and writers such as David Bordwell, Murray Pomerance and many others have stressed the need to steer film theory in a new direction, whether it be film-philosophy, neo-formalism or another approach (if not theory altogether). Thankfully, if theory is not completely dead (which I hope that it is not) the oftentimes obfuscatory, impenetrable style that characterized the worst aspects of it may be. Implicit in the ongoing debate about the death of theory, is a question of cinephilia and its relationship to film criticism. The resurgence of cinephilia in film studies, while giving birth to an already bloated field of study, has also reminded scholars of the importance of style in the development of film criticism. While prone to excessive use of superlatives, what were the cahiers critics if not great stylists? Finding adequate ways way of communicating both one’s emotional and intellectual thoughts on film are one of the many threads in a great new collection, The Language and Style of Film Criticism edited by Alex Clayton and Andrew Klevan. Concerned with the form of criticism, each essay elegantly dances with unique style: fragmentary thoughts are cloaked as sentences while fiction and description melt into each other and overlap with analysis. There is such variation and passion in these essays, that while not all are transportive the collection feels alive."
The Language and Style of Film Criticism brings together original essays from an international range of academics and film critics highlighting the achievements, complexities and potential of film criticism. In recent years, in contrast to the theoretical, historical and cultural study of film,...
Published April 21st 2011 by Routledge