David Bordwell argues that Annette Michelson's impact on film criticism was comparable to Andrew Sarris's. In unearthing the strategies or “schema” regularly used by critics to interpret avant-garde films, he shows that Michelson pioneered an innovative understanding of modernist art as being about human perception and cognition. This new interpretive paradigm proved hugely influential, in part due to Michelson's institutional roles as teacher, translator, and editor.

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