Dr Bruce Isaacs

B.A., PhD
Senior Lecturer

A26 - R.C. Mills Building
The University of Sydney

Telephone +61 2 9351 3568
Fax +61 2 9351 4212

Website Image database

Biographical details

I am interested in a wide range of film studies-related topics: histories of film (with a focus on Hollywood, though I have abiding interests in various ‘New Waves’ and movements), film aesthetics and style, critical approaches to film production, film and popular culture (including the relationship between film and other pop culture art forms such as television, literature and music). I am currently intrigued by various developments in High Concept Hollywood and its evolution of new aesthetic practices, including digital and 3D cinema.

Research interests

  • Film Aesthetics: the legitimacy of ‘Film Style’
  • Realism and Spectacle
  • American Cinema: Classical Hollywood/Hollywood Renaissance (late 60s to Coppola’s Apocalypse Now, 1979)/Hollywood High Concept Cinema
  • Auteur Theory, Independence, New Aesthetic Sensibilities
  • Digital Cinema and Aesthetics: ‘Future Cinema’
  • Film Production Practice – with a focus on screenwriting as a literary and cinematic form

Current projects

  • "Reality Effects: The Ideology of the Long Take in the Cinema of Alfonso Cuaron", Post Cinema: Theorizing 21st Century Film, ed. Julia Leyda and Shane Denson (Reframe Books, forthcoming September, 2015).
  • "Literary Images: Toward a Phenomenology of Cinematic Writing", Screen (forthcoming 2016).

  • Neobaroque Aestheticism in the Modern Genre Film: Sergio Leone, Brian De Palma, John Carpenter, Quentin Tarantino
  • The Mechanics of continuity in the cinema of Michael Bay
  • Screenwriting and the ‘cinematicality’ of a literary form

Associations

In the media

Guest Presenter, Celluloid Symphonies, Eastside 89.7 FM:
http://eastsidefm.org/celluloidsymphonies/

  • May 3, 2015: “The Hollywood Musical”
  • April 3, 2015: “The Music of James Bond”
  • March 1, 2015: “The Music and Cinema of David Lynch”
  • February 1: “The Film Soundtrack”

Research Bites: Dr Bruce Isaacs -- School of Languages, Arts and Media - Future Cinema: Technology and Images

PhD and master's project opportunities

Selected grants

2015

  • The Digital Image; Isaacs B; University of Sydney/Blended Learning Innovation Fund.

2014

  • Performing Genre: Industrial, Aesthetic and Ideological Formations in the Films of Sergio Leone, Dario Argento and Brian De Palma; Isaacs B; University of Sydney/Research Support Scheme.
  • Mapping a Transnational Genre Aesthetic: Sergio Corbuccis Django (1966) and il Grande Silenzio (The Great Silence, 1968); Isaacs B; University of Sydney/Faculty Research Incubator.
  • Virtual Affect: The Immateriality of Bodies, Spaces and Times in Virtual Cinema Production; Isaacs B; University of Sydney/Film Studies Journal Incentive Grant.
  • Camera-Stylo: Intersections in Literature and Cinema; Isaacs B, Kelly D, Marks P; University of Sydney/Conference Seed Funding Scheme.

2012

  • Cinematic Spectacle: Effects, Technology and the American High Concept Film; Isaacs B; United States Studies Centre/Research Support.

Selected publications & creative works

Download citations: PDF RTF Endnote

Books

  • Isaacs, B. (2013). The Orientation of Future Cinema: Technology, Aesthetics, Spectacle. London: Bloomsbury Academic.
  • Isaacs, B. (2008). Toward a New Film Aesthetic. United Kingdom: Continuum.

Book Chapters

  • Isaacs, B. (2014). The Image of Time in Post-Classical Hollywood: Donnie Darko and Southland Tales. In Warren Buckland (Eds.), Hollywood Puzzle Films, (pp. 198-213). London: Routledge.
  • Isaacs, B. (2011). Art, Image and Spectacle in High Concept Cinema. In Matthew Kapell, Steven McVeigh (Eds.), The films of James Cameron: critical essays, (pp. 90-108). Jefferson, NC: McFarland.
  • Isaacs, B. (2010). A Vision of a Time and Place: Spiritual Humanism and the Utopian Impulse. In Matthew Wilhelm Kapell (Eds.), Star Trek as Myth: Essays on Symbol and Archetype at the Final Frontier, (pp. 182-196). Jefferson, NC, United States of America: McFarland.
  • Isaacs, B. (2006). A Survey of Popular and Scholarly Receptions of the Star Wars Franchise. In Matthew Wilhelm Kapell, John Shelton Lawrence (Eds.), Finding the Force in the Star Wars Franchise: Fans, Merchandise, and Critics, (pp. 265-282). New York, United States of America: Peter Lang Publishing.
  • Isaacs, B. (2005). Non-Linear Narrative. In Nicholas Rombes (Eds.), New Punk Cinema, (pp. 126-138). Edinburgh, United Kingdom: Edinburgh University Press.
  • Isaacs, B., Trost, T. (2004). "Story, Product, Franchsie: Images Of Postmodern Cinema. A Postmodern Cinema". A Postmodernist Redemption Myth with a Control-Freak Messianic Hero. In Matthew Kapell, William Doty (Eds.), Jacking in to the Matrix Franchise: Cultural Reception and Interpretation, (pp. 65-79). New York and London: Continuum.

Journals

  • Isaacs, B. (2015). Digital Performance: Demoscene and the Phenomenology of Digital Code. Empedocles: European Journal for the Philosophy of Communication, 5(1-2), 111-116. [More Information]
  • Isaacs, B. (2015). The Mechanics of Continuity in Michael Bay’s 'Transformers' Franchise. Senses of Cinema, 75(June 2015).
  • Isaacs, B. (2012). Cinema's Autonomous Image in Michelangelo Antonioni and Francis Ford Coppola. Sydney Studies in English, 38, 19-49.
  • Isaacs, B. (2009). Screening 'Australia': Samson and Delilah. Screen Education, 2009 (54), 12-17.
  • Isaacs, B. (2009). The Birth of a Nation: Living on the Land in Lucky Country. Metro Magazine, 2009 (161), 36-40.
  • Isaacs, B. (2007). The Cinematic Real: Aesthetics and Spectacle. Sydney Studies in English, 33, 96-124.
  • Isaacs, B. (2004). Popular Postmodernism: The Cultural Logic Of The Matrix. New Media Poetics: An International Fully Refereed e-Journal of Theory and Practice, 2004 (3), online-online.

Edited Journals

  • Bennett, B., Gurevitch, L., Isaacs, B. (2015). The Cinema of Michael Bay: Technology, Transformation, and Spectacle in the 'Post-Cinematic' Era. Senses of Cinema, 75(June 2015).

Textual Creative Works

  • Isaacs, B. (2005). The Land and Nightfall. Nebula, 2.1, (pp. 73 - 73). Australia: Samar Habib.

Magazine / Newspaper Articles

  • Isaacs, B. (2015). Far From Folsom: Resurrecting the Spirit of Johnny Cash. The Conversation. [More Information]
  • Isaacs, B. (2015). The Sydney Symphony Orchestra Brings 'The Godfather' to Life. The Conversation. [More Information]
  • Isaacs, B. (2014). Nick Cave's '20000 Days on Earth' Opens the Sydney Film Festival. The Conversation. [More Information]
  • Isaacs, B. (2014). Winners, Losers and Bruisers At This Year's Sydney Film Festival. The Conversation. [More Information]

2015

  • Isaacs, B. (2015). Digital Performance: Demoscene and the Phenomenology of Digital Code. Empedocles: European Journal for the Philosophy of Communication, 5(1-2), 111-116. [More Information]
  • Isaacs, B. (2015). Far From Folsom: Resurrecting the Spirit of Johnny Cash. The Conversation. [More Information]
  • Bennett, B., Gurevitch, L., Isaacs, B. (2015). The Cinema of Michael Bay: Technology, Transformation, and Spectacle in the 'Post-Cinematic' Era. Senses of Cinema, 75(June 2015).
  • Isaacs, B. (2015). The Mechanics of Continuity in Michael Bay’s 'Transformers' Franchise. Senses of Cinema, 75(June 2015).
  • Isaacs, B. (2015). The Sydney Symphony Orchestra Brings 'The Godfather' to Life. The Conversation. [More Information]

2014

  • Isaacs, B. (2014). Nick Cave's '20000 Days on Earth' Opens the Sydney Film Festival. The Conversation. [More Information]
  • Isaacs, B. (2014). The Image of Time in Post-Classical Hollywood: Donnie Darko and Southland Tales. In Warren Buckland (Eds.), Hollywood Puzzle Films, (pp. 198-213). London: Routledge.
  • Isaacs, B. (2014). Winners, Losers and Bruisers At This Year's Sydney Film Festival. The Conversation. [More Information]

2013

  • Isaacs, B. (2013). The Orientation of Future Cinema: Technology, Aesthetics, Spectacle. London: Bloomsbury Academic.

2012

  • Isaacs, B. (2012). Cinema's Autonomous Image in Michelangelo Antonioni and Francis Ford Coppola. Sydney Studies in English, 38, 19-49.

2011

  • Isaacs, B. (2011). Art, Image and Spectacle in High Concept Cinema. In Matthew Kapell, Steven McVeigh (Eds.), The films of James Cameron: critical essays, (pp. 90-108). Jefferson, NC: McFarland.

2010

  • Isaacs, B. (2010). A Vision of a Time and Place: Spiritual Humanism and the Utopian Impulse. In Matthew Wilhelm Kapell (Eds.), Star Trek as Myth: Essays on Symbol and Archetype at the Final Frontier, (pp. 182-196). Jefferson, NC, United States of America: McFarland.

2009

  • Isaacs, B. (2009). Screening 'Australia': Samson and Delilah. Screen Education, 2009 (54), 12-17.
  • Isaacs, B. (2009). The Birth of a Nation: Living on the Land in Lucky Country. Metro Magazine, 2009 (161), 36-40.

2008

  • Isaacs, B. (2008). Toward a New Film Aesthetic. United Kingdom: Continuum.

2007

  • Isaacs, B. (2007). The Cinematic Real: Aesthetics and Spectacle. Sydney Studies in English, 33, 96-124.

2006

  • Isaacs, B. (2006). A Survey of Popular and Scholarly Receptions of the Star Wars Franchise. In Matthew Wilhelm Kapell, John Shelton Lawrence (Eds.), Finding the Force in the Star Wars Franchise: Fans, Merchandise, and Critics, (pp. 265-282). New York, United States of America: Peter Lang Publishing.

2005

  • Isaacs, B. (2005). Non-Linear Narrative. In Nicholas Rombes (Eds.), New Punk Cinema, (pp. 126-138). Edinburgh, United Kingdom: Edinburgh University Press.
  • Isaacs, B. (2005). The Land and Nightfall. Nebula, 2.1, (pp. 73 - 73). Australia: Samar Habib.

2004

  • Isaacs, B., Trost, T. (2004). "Story, Product, Franchsie: Images Of Postmodern Cinema. A Postmodern Cinema". A Postmodernist Redemption Myth with a Control-Freak Messianic Hero. In Matthew Kapell, William Doty (Eds.), Jacking in to the Matrix Franchise: Cultural Reception and Interpretation, (pp. 65-79). New York and London: Continuum.
  • Isaacs, B. (2004). Popular Postmodernism: The Cultural Logic Of The Matrix. New Media Poetics: An International Fully Refereed e-Journal of Theory and Practice, 2004 (3), online-online.

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