Just in time for Hot Theorist Summer, film scholars David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson have generously made their digital books accessible as free PDFs online.
The decision resulted from a reluctance to continue selling texts through PayPal, in the wake of billionaire venture capitalist and company stockholder Peter Thiel’s bankrolling of J. D. Vance and other MAGA affiliates’ campaigns. “I was never comfortable with using that service, but its ubiquity favored it [...] we see no reason to add to PayPal’s revenues, not even the few cents it receives from a purchase here,” wrote Bordwell in a blog post.
Bordwell and Thompson are acclaimed figureheads of film scholarship and criticism largely due to their finely detailed but accessible prose and their willingness to challenge convention without condescension. As any film student will assure you, if you wish to delve into film history and academia, this is your bread and butter.
Some of the Bordwell & Thompson books now available in PDF form include quintessential cinema studies texts such as On the History of Film Style and Pandora’s Digital Box, and cultural deep dives such as Planet Hong Kong and Christopher Nolan: A Labyrinth of Linkages. Happy reading!