Dr Bruce Isaacs

B.A. PhD
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

  • 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

Recent Conference Presentations

  • ‘Spielberg’s Authorial Expressivity: Image and Movement in the July 4th Attack in Jaws.’ POPCAANZ 2012 (Melbourne, June 27-29).
  • ‘Neobaroque Aesthetics in Sergio Leone’s Once Upon a Time in the West.’ Invited presentation to New Frontiers: The Western Genre in Film, Media and Games (Co-sponsored by Swinburne and La Trobe Universities, May 2012). Keynote speakers include Edward Buscomb, Carl Plantinga and Leonard Engel.
  • Robert Altman, ‘McCabe and Mrs Miller.’ Interview with Jason di Rosso, MovieTime, ABC National Radio. April, 2012.
  • ‘The Phenomenology of 3-D Realism: Avatar and Depth Aesthetics’. Invited paper, SCMS Panel Presentation (Boston, March, 21-25, 2012). This paper was also presented via video-link at the 3-D Storytelling Conference (London, March, 22-23, 2012).
  • ‘Images of Los Angeles: Between Still and Moving Images.’ Invited Speaker, Art Gallery of NSW, February 8, 2012.
  • ‘Park Chan-Wook’s Night Fishing and Digital Film Culture.’ Invited Speaker, Koffia Korean Film Festival, 2011.
  • ‘The Paradox of 3D: Between Depth and Surface in James Cameron’s Avatar’. 2nd Annual Australia and New Zealand Popular Culture Conference. Auckland, June 30-July 2, 2011.
  • ‘Screening the Unconscious’. Annual Film Lecture, Sydney Jung Society. August, 2009 [Invited Lecture]
  • ‘Pure Film: Reconceptualising Cinematic Realism’. The XIIIth Biennial Conference of the Film and History Association, Melbourne, November 16-19, 2006.
  • ‘Image, Quotation and Cinematic Meaning: Mapping Ideology onto Images’. Eternal Sunshine of the Academic Mind: Symposium. University of Sydney, 2006.
  • ‘Popular Postmodernism: The Cultural Logic of The Matrix’. Critical Animals Conference, University of Newcastle. 2004.

In the media

PhD and master's project opportunities

Selected grants

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. (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. (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.

Conferences

  • Isaacs, B. (2011). Literary Images: Screenwriting as Modernist Cinematic Discourse. Cinema, Modernity and Modernism: XVth Biennial Conference of the Film and History Association of Australia and New Zealand (FHAANZ 2010), Australia.
  • Isaacs, B. (2009). Screening the Unconscious. C G Jung Society of Sydney Annual Film Lecture (2009), Australia: Not applicable.
  • Isaacs, B. (2006). Image, Quotation and Cinematic Meaning: Mapping Ideology onto Images. Eternal Sunshine of the Academic Mind: An International Symposium on Religion, Film and Culture, Sydney, Australia: Department of Studies in Religion, University of Sydney.
  • Isaacs, B. (2006). Pure Film: Reconceptualising Cinematic Realism. The XIIIth Biennial Conference of the Film and History Association, Australia: Senses of Cinema Inc.

Original Creative Work

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

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.
  • Isaacs, B. (2011). Literary Images: Screenwriting as Modernist Cinematic Discourse. Cinema, Modernity and Modernism: XVth Biennial Conference of the Film and History Association of Australia and New Zealand (FHAANZ 2010), Australia.

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). Screening the Unconscious. C G Jung Society of Sydney Annual Film Lecture (2009), Australia: Not applicable.
  • 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.
  • Isaacs, B. (2006). Image, Quotation and Cinematic Meaning: Mapping Ideology onto Images. Eternal Sunshine of the Academic Mind: An International Symposium on Religion, Film and Culture, Sydney, Australia: Department of Studies in Religion, University of Sydney.
  • Isaacs, B. (2006). Pure Film: Reconceptualising Cinematic Realism. The XIIIth Biennial Conference of the Film and History Association, Australia: Senses of Cinema Inc.

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). unspecified, 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.

For support on your academic profile contact .