A loving anthology, with commentary, on the silent cinema. An invitation to discovery on every page, and perhaps the best title for any film book yet published.
The nearest we have to a British national filmography was created not by any institute or university but by one man. There is no better stimulus to look at films seriously. On the other hand, it is also a self-portrait by a brilliant and uncompromising English film-maker. Published to accompany a BFI documentary, this is a beautifully illustrated and very sharp-eyed tour through a century of American cinema by a true obsessive. He is honest and self-lacerating about his own foibles and equally caustic about those of others. Morbidity and lyricism run side by side as he lays bare his demons.
This book is easy to undervalue. At first glance it looks like a series of nostalgic, fireside chats with actors and film-makers from the good old days of British cinema. However, no one else was doing these interviews. Thirteen years on, many of the interviewees have died. McFarlane did future British historians an extraordinary service by capturing their reminiscences. A book that opens minds to formalism in the fullest and most supple way. So you think you know what intertextuality is?
Iampolski, a pre-eminent contemporary Russian theorist, gives a dazzling demonstration of how, when, where and why films quote other films and other media and why we should care. Has anyone ever written this beautifully about Dovzhenko, Renoir or Straub-Huillet? Writings on film by film-makers form a generally undervalued genre. It will forever change the way we regard his life, work and thought.
Fortunately, thanks to the gifted Russian-Australian scholar Julia Vassilieva, this project is on the way. Brenez is our greatest living critic. Emerging from Filmkritik magazine in the late s, this lively pair shaped much future German-language film culture to come with their analyses, programming, teaching and restoration work. Grafe , in particular, combined a crisp, evocative, Barthesian style with a rigorous eye and brilliant mind. The saddest lacuna of all is Roger Tailleur , an extraordinary prose stylist and encyclopaedic brain who, on a good day, makes Manny Farber seem like Harry Knowles.
Ever the disappointed idealist, Agee offered grudging praise to such compromised efforts as Meet Me in St. Louis and Double Indemnity in long, delicately cadenced sentences that would never survive the copy editor now. Stars back then embodied vital social contradictions — one doubts whether the featureless pretty people of contemporary celebrity would repay so subtle and scrupulous a treatment. For one thing, Perez magnificently vindicates the beauty of illusionism — a salutary attitude after decades of academic militancy that judged it a ruling-class plot.
But even more crucially, he understands how every general theory of cinema must start from its concrete particulars as an artform. A work of transcendent intelligence. These aphoristic memos from the legendary director are often as inscrutable as Zen Buddhist koans, yet reflecting on them can produce a similar enlightenment. Essential reading for anyone curious about the physics and metaphysics of film, this slender volume can be profitably revisited over a lifetime.
A book that revolutionised film studies. Through his sophisticated apologia for melodrama, a despised genre was propelled into the academic spotlight where it has remained ever since. Minh-ha, Routledge, Very little was outside her scope. Hard to pick just one Durgnat. A study that manages to say a lot of fascinating, illuminating things about its subject even though it labours under the handicap that when it was published Hollywood had made almost no films about the Vietnam War. Like all books I go back to, it has solid information, wide-ranging insight and an elegant, precise, wry prose style.
Four little volumes of essays and reviews written in the s and s, published posthumously, that were absolutely formative for the film-makers of the nouvelle vague and for critics ever after. The selective and not very good English translation as What is Cinema? A much better translation of most of the key essays has recently been published What is Cinema? A Bazin antidote. Harbinger of the theory boom of the s, but much more readable than most of what followed. Thoughts and opinions of the most important and revolutionary film-maker of the past 50 years.
Beautifully edited and translated, but it unfortunately stops just before If debarred, then the edition of the Time Out Film Guide, being less bulky than it has since become. It was written over 30 years ago, yet remains the most lucid and critically coherent account of American avant-garde film.
The most sophisticated marriage of philosophy and film written. Brimming with ideas and beautifully written. In which the French critic says it all and shows us that further Bergman books must lie in new detail or a broader window on the film world. A masterpiece of stills photography that captures the world behind the movie camera, culminating in her extraordinary on-set pics of Marilyn and The Misfits. This guide to the horror edition , science fiction and Western genres is addictive, exhaustive and unsurpassed. My favourite Kael collection because the period it covers coincides with so many of her true passions.
No one else seems to get the point of film criticism as well as Rosenbaum, or to pursue it with such prickly independence. Knopf, — confirmed that, even within the studio system, there were different lives being lived and different stories being told.
Pauvert, , which should be prescribed reading on every po-faced film course. The revised and enlarged edition of is the most concise, lucid and inspiring introduction to thinking about film ever written. This is an exemplary collection, with a superb opening essay on the importance of resisting complicity with the culture supermarket.
Its key statement, provocative but true: asking a critic what films to go to is as inappropriate as asking a geographer where to go on holiday. This was my first exposure to the complexity, provocation and sometimes perversity of this French critic, a champion of cinephilic promiscuity and a brilliant expander of small, seemingly inconspicuous details into troubling symptoms. Biography as something close to picaresque fiction. At once imaginative myth-making and insightful, demystifying critical essay.
A sui generis reimagining of film history — a poetic treatise, cultural delirium and phenomenological evocation of the mysterious, multiform rapture of watching. This first collection by the most thoughtful, penetrating, and far-reaching of UK film critics ever remains scandalously overlooked and undervalued.
As all who recall the glory days of the fanzine will know, great, life-changing literature often comes through the front door in a self-addressed envelope.
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This small booklet, issued as a pedagogic aid of sorts, is a reminder of a time when terrestrial television scheduled whole series dedicated to individual arthouse directors at prime time! As for Chinese film, well, this superb history, in which Zhang spotlights the teeming interplay between movies, photography and architecture in early 20th-century Shanghai, performs the function of all the best literature: it leaves you ravenous for more. Although only covering developments prior to the s, this is still the most essential publication out there on Japanese film.
High, University of Wisconsin Press, An exhaustive and fascinating account of how the Japanese film industry was mobilised during the war years. And for the undeceived appreciation of Sam Fuller. Rescues, with painterly intelligence, a defunct form. Begins with the balance sheet: accountancy, documentation, polemic.
Alfred Hitchcock: The Man Who Knew Too Much
The cultural connections of that period, from Brecht to Pinter, nicely fixed. Provocative, opinionated and a little crazy. I read this one until it fell apart, pre-viewing in my imagination films I had not yet seen and might never see. A fine example of literature as catalogue. The most candid and complete account of a film, and a famous disaster — which looks better every time you see it.
The Man Who Knew Hitchcock: A Hollywood Memoir
A terrific piece of journalism and a landmark in the history of American non-fiction writing, this look at how John Huston made The Red Badge of Courage remains the ultimate Hollywood behind-the-scenes story. The great American novelist turned his attention to a Hollywood he knew well for this collection of short stories about a washed-up screenwriter, which retain their relevance and punch to this day. For US critics of a certain age this is the most obvious choice, but there is no overestimating the impact its English-language exploration of auteur theory had on serious filmgoers and critics.
The book that almost single-handedly revived serious interest in the long-reviled world of silent film. A deliciously gossipy biography of Harry Cohn, the feared and reviled head of Columbia Pictures. The one true advance from pop criticism into academic thought, yet that still relates to pop, pleasure and real life. The only example of a great film era the s meeting a worthy, attentive journalist.
The Film Book poll. Grief hit mother and daughter hard. She fell in love with the real estate developer and philanthropist Marshall Rose, a widower, and in she married him. Her mother died.
Bergen tells all this with aplomb and a sense of humor. She is also plain-spoken. Much has been made of the fuss-free way in which she has written about her weight gain in recent years. And she is revelatory in her contemplation of finance. Nothing like it.
Herbert Coleman | Gilligan's Island Wiki | FANDOM powered by Wikia
As a fictional newswoman, Murphy Brown was iconically brassy. As a memoirist, Candice Bergen is flesh-and-blood classy. That leaves one final icon up for consideration, a biggie. Indeed, Orson Welles loomed so large — in talent, in contradictions, in girth — that, in the end, his multitudes could not be contained. The extensive endnotes and bibliography are reassuring, considering the boost Karp gets out of recreating historically important dialogue — and even offhand comments — among real people.
Welles, who also wrote the screenplay, began working on the movie in , having returned to Hollywood after years of European self-exile. He continued to shoot, on and off, for some half-dozen years to tell the story of the last day in the life of an aging movie director, played by John Huston. Did the movie emerge from autobiographical impulses? Did Welles ever really want to finish it? Word is, another attempt is underway right now.
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Buy As Gift. Overview As a script supervisor, second unit director, producer, and director, Herbert Coleman's film career spanned seven decades. Active in Hollywood from through , he enjoyed a lengthy and illustrious career, highlighted by an impressive string of commercial and critical successes with one of the greats of cinema, Alfred Hitchcock.