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Transcendental Style In Film (A Da Capo paperback) Paperback – August 22, 1988

3.6 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Paul Schrader is the acclaimed director of Mishima, American Gigolo, Hard Core, Blue Collar, Cat People and the screenwriter for Taxi Driver.
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Product Details

  • Series: A Da Capo paperback
  • Paperback: 194 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press; Reprint edition (August 22, 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0306803356
  • ISBN-13: 978-0306803352
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #594,126 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By L. Pals on August 14, 2009
Format: Paperback
This book is a gem of appreciation for an all but dying cinematic style. Bottom line, it's an enthusiastic analysis of a very rare style shared by three different filmmakers, all auteurs in their own right. You may disagree with the "spiritual" import, or the importance of the stylistic similarities across cultures, but you cannot deny that Paul Schrader is onto something worth studying. Schrader's background in Calvinism (and its analytic, ascetic tendencies) is a unique and fitting window through which the reader can appreciate Bresson's, Ozu's, and Dreyer's work as it relates to the aesthetics of grace. Schrader's concentration on the primacy of filmic form as a means to communicate with the audience, as opposed to content, vicarious emotion (empathy), and visceral sensations, flies in the face of visual narrative styles today, even the most "artistic."
Sure, it's a masters thesis, and sometimes reads like one. It is a little uneven rhetorically and goes in some tangents. But the negative reviews on this book seem emotionally charged with some kind of weird rivalry endemic to the academic world and petty film critics.

If you take the time to understand the complexity of stasis, disparity, abundant and sparse means, and the "choices" at work in predestinarian logic and the moment of grace, you won't be disappointed. You'll see Ozu, Bresson, Dreyer and filmmaking in a new light.
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Format: Paperback
I read the book about thirty years ago and found it contained original, and still useful, insights about film expression. The self-absorbed critics on this page who have panned the book should probably reflect on their own verbal excesses before they criticize Schrader's. Anytime you take on the subject of the transcendental, you will necessarily be speaking metaphorically. Schrader's model may not be precise, but they offer food for thought.
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Format: Paperback
I read this years ago, before Schrader was well known as either a screenwriter or a director, but this book introduced me to the three great filmmakers he analyzes here. Hard to believe the same writer would go on to script TAXI DRIVER, HARDCORE, and RAGING BULL. But after you read this you will see the 'transcendental' element is in all of Schrader's screenplays. This book is not for the "movie buff" but a more scholarly audience. But if you are a Schrader fan, it is a must read.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is an incredible way to immerse oneself in Dreyer, Ozu and Bressons world through Schrader's eyes. A must!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great job! Perfect!
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