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Posted September 2, 2001
26 Essays That Can Make Any Movie Come Alive
This book of essays on current and classic movies, as well as a few other 'real life' visual experiences that were transformative for the viewer,is exciting to me because it shows how the continuum of the reel-life & real life seeing/imagining/self-changing experience is the most powerful force that brings people back to movies again and again (and back to all art, for that matter). Of course all movies aren't great, and in fact most of today's are far from great (commercial is soo often the opposite of serious, ergo potentially great). But this book presents in-depth discussions, by well-known writers (Annie Dillard, et al) and widely respected college film critics, that show how integral the seeing beyond experience is in life and film. The essays discuss a wide variety of movie topics: Westerns, Horror films, film noir & neo-noir, as well as great movies by famous directors such as Robert Altman, John Ford & Sam Peckinpah, Stanley Kubrick, Arthur Penn, Richard Lester, and Bergman, Fellini, Antonioni, Bertolucci, Resnais, Truffaut, et al. The first 11 essays are by one person, William R. Robinson, whose early book MAN AND THE MOVIES was called by the LA Times 'one of the best movies ever,' and his work continually raises and investigates the basic questions about movies that any really interested fan wants to think about. He has an exciting way of presenting his case, arguing with other critics, seeing things you haven't seen before and definitely thinking about things in ways you probably haven't considered--but they sound very interesting. I'd give this book to a friend or student just because the energy running throughout its 488 pages is as entertaining as any movie.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.