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Critical critic criticism

Marty's getting jittery

Just spotted this nugget on talking about their “critics of the ’00s”. I have no idea what it means but they decided that David Bordwell and his wife Kristin Thompson were deserving of acknowledgement. Read the original article at IFC now.

There’s a great nugget on something Bordwell calls “intensified continuity”…

Not content to expect the reader to trust his accounting, Bordwell shows his math. This benign obsessive actually turned on his DVD player, sat there in front of a monitor with a stopwatch and timed the shot length in several Scorsese films made over a period of 33 years, then compiled a little chart showing how the average length of a shot in a Scorsese film has dropped from 7.7 seconds (in 1973’s “Mean Streets”) to 2.7 seconds (“The Departed,” 2006).

I have always thought of Bordwell as blurring the lines between criticism and film study. I guess this is no harm in the day and age where most reviewers are just trying to phrase stuff in such a way that they might get their name on the side of a bus.

Some days this kind of academic analysis can be fun. But sometimes it’s fun not to dwell on why a man is even talking to a truck that turns into a robot in the first place.

If you feel like pretending to be all smart, check out Bordwell and Thompson’s rather excellent blog at