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Ballad of Narayama

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Dr. Bordwell Goes to Hong Kong

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Photo by David Bordwell

When I met David Bordwell at Roger Ebert's Overlooked Film Festival last spring, he had recently returned from Hong Kong with a cool new Fuji FinePix camera, a model that wasn't available in the United States. It's really good in low light and he had the luscious pictures to prove it -- what he called his Wong Kar-Wai shots.

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Photo by David Bordwell

"Hong Kong just LOOKS like one of his films," says the Jacques Ledoux Proffessor of Film Studies, Emeritus, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Bordwell, as all film students know, is the author of such books as "Planet Hong Kong: Popular Cinema and the Art of Entertainment," "Figures Traced in Light:" and "The Way Hollywood Tells It." He and his wife, Dr. Kristin Thompson (who has a book coming out called "Frodo, Fantasy and Franchises: The Lord of the Rings and Modern Hollywood"), are also the authors of the two most popular film textbooks, "Film Art" and "Film History."

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Photo by David Bordwell

David made me the star (or, as Robert Bresson would say, the "model") of some impressively elaborate, Coen Bros.-style demonstrations shots, taken in movie mode, inside the warm light of the Virginia Theater between movies. Kind of like intricate, hand-held crane shots, from close-up to long shot and back again. But these eye-popping Hong Kong images were so delicious I asked him if I could post a few to share with you. Feast your eyes! (And Christopher Doyle -- eat your heart out!)

(More images after the jump.)

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Photo by David Bordwell

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Kristin Thompson and David Bordwell at the Overlooked Film Festival, 2006. (Photo by Jim Emerson)

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