EL3222: Recommended Readings

Note: this list is supplementary. For 2010-11 and subsequent years, you should treat the web notes for each of the lecture topics (refer to the schedule) as your primary reading material. The following, and the hypertext links within your web notes, should be treated as your secondary readings.

The names of scholars refer to the works indicated in the reading list on the home page. Students should not treat the readings as sacrosanct. There are of course other relevant readings that they may want to read, in addition to, or instead of, the readings indicated below. More advanced readings outside the recommended texts are indicated with double asterisks (unless otherwise indicated, these advanced studies are available online, either freely through the Internet, or via the NUS Library's intranet).

  1. Topic 1: Discourse, Style and Narrative in Cinema
    Bordwell (1985),
    Chapter 4: Principles of Narration
    Bordwell (2008),
    Chapter 3: Three Dimensions of Film Narrative
    , Chapter 5: Film, System, Narrative
    Metz, Chapter 6: Textual Systems
    Metz, Chapter 11: Cinema and Writing

  2. Topic 2: Discoursal and Cinematic Audiences
    Bordwell (1985),
    Chapter 3: The Viewer's Activity
    from Bordwell (2008), pp 43-55 ‘What Snakes, Eagles, and Rhesus Macaques Can Teach Us’
    Buckland, Chapter 1: The Cognitive Turn in Film Theory

  3. Topic 3: The Nature and Limits of Narrative in Cinema
    The readings for topic 1 by Bordwell (1985), Bordwell (2008) and Heath.

  4. Topic 4: Cinema and Language: A Critical Look
    Bordwell (1985)
    , Chapter 2: Diegetic Theories of Narration
    Buckland, Chapter 2: The Body on the Screen and in the Frame: Film and Cognitive Semantics
    Buckland, Chapter 3: Not What Is Seen through the Window but the Window Itself: Reflexivity, Enunciation, and Film
    Heath, Chapter 9: Language, Sight and Sound (avoid the references to psychoanalysis, look esp. at pp. 194-7, 207-12, 214-17)
    from Metz, Chapter 2: Sections 2.3 & 2.4
    from Metz, Chapter 4: Section 4.3
    Metz, Chapter 9: The Problem of Distinctive Units

  5. Topic 5: Language and Cinema Studies: The Semiotic and Discoursal Connections
    from Ehrat, 1: On Signs, Categories, and Reality and How They Relate to Cinema (pp 8-31)
    Ehrat, 2: Semiotic and Its Practical Use for Cinema
    Metz, Chapter 4: Plurality of Cinematic Codes
    Metz, Chapter 5: From Code to System; Message to Text

  6. Topic 6: Stasis in Motion: Understanding Cinematic Space
    Bordwell (1985),
    Chapter 7: Narration and Space
    Heath, Chapter 2: Narrative Space
    **Ronit Schwartz 'Spatial Cues in the Cinematic Discourse: Selection, Function and Style in Jurassic Park and Prospero's Books' Journal of Pragmatics 26 (1996): 767-91.

  7. Topic 7: Cinematic Genres and (Cross-)Generic Connections
    Bordwell (1985),
    Chapter 5: Sin, Murder, and Narration
    Bordwell (1985), Chapter 8: Modes and Norms
    Bordwell (1985), Chapter 9: Classical Narration: The Hollywood Example
    Bordwell (1985), Chapter 10: Art-Cinema Narration
    Bordwell (2008), Chapter 6: The Art Cinema as a Mode of Film Practice
    Bordwell (2008),
    Chapter 14: Aesthetics in Action: Kung-Fu, Gunplay, and Cinematic Expression
    , Chapter 7: Textuality and ‘Singularity’

  8. Topic 8: Cinematic Authorship
    from Bordwell (1985), Chapter 4: Principles of Narration –
        Narrator, Author (pp 61-2)
    Caughie, Chapter 1: ‘Introduction’
    in Caughie, Chapter 3: Buscombe, ‘Ideas of Authorship’
    Wexman, Introduction
    in Wexman, Sarris, ‘The Auteur Theory Revisited’
    in Wexman, MacCabe, ‘The Revenge of the Author’cg

  9. Topic 9: Cinematic Acting and Characterisation
    in Wojcik, Chapter 1: Kracauer, ‘Remarks on the Actor’
    in Wojcik, Chapter 12: Wojcik, ‘Typecasting’

  10. Topic 10: Cinematic Events
    Bordwell (1985),
    Chapter 4: Principles of Narration
    Bordwell (1985), Chapter 6: Narration and Time
    from Bordwell (1985), Chapter 7: Narration and Space –
       Ideal Positionality: Shot/reverse Shot (pp 110–113)
    Bordwell (2008),
    Chapter 6: Film Futures
    from Ehrat, 3.1: Cinema Is Syntagma
    Metz, Chapter 8: Paradigmatic and Syntagmatic

  11. Topic 11: Cinematic Narration
    Bordwell (1985), Chapter 1: Mimetic Theories of Narration
    Bordwell (2008), pp. 121-133 ‘Afterword: Narrators, Implied Authors, and Other Superfluities’

  12. Topic 12: Cinematic Presentation of Perspective, and of Speech & Thought
    from Bordwell (1985), Chapter 7: Narration and Space –
        Perspective and the Spectator; Ideal Positionality: Shot/reverse shot 
    **Kenneth Johnson, ‘The Point of View of the Wandering Camera’ Cinema Journal 32.2 (Winter, 1993): 49-56.