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The Art of Pure Cinema


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About the Author

Bruce Isaacs is Associate Professor of Film Studies and Director of the Film Studies Program at the University of Sydney. He is the author of The Orientation of Future Cinema and Toward a New Film Aesthetic, and has published in leading journals on topics relating to the evolution of cinema as an art form.


Filmgoers who have ever wondered what Hitchcock meant by pure cinema-a phrase that has remained stubbornly associated with him despite his notoriously vague account of it-and whether they actually agreed with him will be engaged, fascinated, and sometimes piqued by Bruce Isaacs's exhilarating approach to the question of pure cinema as 'the materialization of schematic, abstractly rendered framed spaces animated by movement' and an equally abstract, fragmented use of sound illustrated by an exploration of the latter-day Hitchcockians Mario Bava, Dario Argento, Lucio Fulci, and especially Brian De Palma. Isaacs offers a tonic reminder that one of the best ways to see Hitchcock afresh is to see him through the eyes and films of his imitators. * Thomas Leitch, University of Delaware *
In The Art of Pure Cinema, Bruce Isaacs re-evaluates a spate of popular films, which include the creations of directors such as Mario Bava, Dario Argento, Lucio Fulci and, most importantly, Brian De Palma, whom Isaacs describes as 'a cohort of Hitchcockian imitators'. Providing close analyses of key sequences from these films, Isaacs invites the reader to consider these 'movies' as sustained explorations and extensions of the master's initial aesthetic propositions and philosophy. As such this book constitutes an important addition to scholarship on the aesthetics of the thriller and horror genres. * Hilary Radner, Professor Emeritus, University of Otago *
Hitchcock had a method. It was a 'philosophy of visual and auratic form'-the dream of a pure cinema. With an unexpected gambit, Bruce Isaacs unearths this method through the rich pantheon of Hitchcockian imitators. A true discovery. * Francesco Casetti, Yale University *

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