The X List

Overview

National Society of Film Critics dares to go where few mainstream critics have gone before-to the heart of what gets the colored lights going, as they say in A Streetcar Named Desire. Here is their take on the films that quicken their (and our) pulses-an enterprise both risky and risque, an entertaining overview of the most arousing films Hollywood has every produced. But make no mistake about it: This isn't a collection of esoteric "critic's choice" movies. The films reflect individual taste, rubbing against the...

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The X List: The National Society of Film Critics' Guide to the Movies That Turn Us On

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Overview

National Society of Film Critics dares to go where few mainstream critics have gone before-to the heart of what gets the colored lights going, as they say in A Streetcar Named Desire. Here is their take on the films that quicken their (and our) pulses-an enterprise both risky and risque, an entertaining overview of the most arousing films Hollywood has every produced. But make no mistake about it: This isn't a collection of esoteric "critic's choice" movies. The films reflect individual taste, rubbing against the grain of popular wisdom. And, because of the personal nature of the erotic forces at play, these essays will reveal more about the individual critics than perhaps they have revealed thus far to their readers. The Society is a world-renowned, marquee-name organization embracing some of America's most distinguished critics, more than forty writers who have followings nationally as well as devoted local constituencies in such major cities as New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, and Minneapolis.Yes, The X List will have something for every lover of film-and for every lover.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
New York Daily News critic Bernard has selected arousing movies varying wildly in quality, from the classic romantic noir Laura to the grotesque Beyond the Valley of the Dolls. What makes the book stimulating is the uniform cleverness of the writing. Jay Carr brings the soft, sensual vividness of The Fabulous Baker Boys to life, noting, "It's an after-hours nocturne of dead-solid serendipity"; Bernard characterizes Gilda as a "coyly sadistic exercise where sex is a weapon that's constantly being unsheathed." There's loose, tongue-in-cheek humor from Rob Nelson in his review of Eyes Wide Shut (he describes Stanley Kubrick as "one seriously perverse dude"). J. Hoberman's witty pan of Basic Instinct is delightful, and Liza Schwarzbaum's enthusiasm for Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid will create new excitement for the DVD. Best Picture Oscar winners (Rebecca), European classics (Belle du Jour), lightweight musicals (Bye Bye Birdie), thrillers (Klute) and love stories (The Long Hot Summer) are spotlighted, and fine film writers-Joe Morgenstern, Richard Schickel, Peter Travers, Michael Wilmington, Kevin Thomas and David Edelson-tackle them with aplomb. Aspiring critics and cinema fans should savor these essays. (Nov. 1) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Santa Fe New Mexican
A fascinating, entertaining read, some of it startling, some of it unsettling, and some of it a real hoot.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780306814457
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press
  • Publication date: 9/27/2005
  • Pages: 350
  • Product dimensions: 0.78 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 9.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Jami Bernard, film critic of the New York Daily News, has been reviewing movies since 1986 and is the author of five books, including Total Exposure, Chick Flicks, and Quentin Tarantino: The Man and His Movies. She is a member of the National Society of Film Critics.

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Table of Contents

The age of innocence 1
Anatomy of hell 5
A Nos Amours 9
Ayn Rand : a sense of life 12
Baby doll 16
Baby face 19
Bad education 23
Baise-Moi 26
Basic instinct 29
Behind the green door 33
Annabel Chong : casting the first pebble 36
Belle De Jour 38
Beyond the valley of the dolls 41
Black Sunday 45
Blue velvet 48
Body heat 51
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid 54
Bye bye birdie 57
Carmen Jones 60
Contempt 64
Crash 67
Crimes of passion 70
Days of heaven 73
Deep throat 76
Don't look now 81
Ecstasy 84
Eyes wide shut 88
Eyes without a face 91
Possession : what you missed 94
The fabulous Baker boys 96
Femme fatale 99
Why Vertigo? 102
La femme Nikita 104
Forever mine 107
Frankenstein created woman 111
The garden of the Finzi-Continis 114
Gilda 117
Connie Nielsen : empress mine 120
Great expectations 122
Hercules and Hercules unchained 125
Horror of Dracula 129
In the cut 133
The female gaze 136
In the mood for love 138
In the realm of the senses 141
In my skin : hack work 144
Intimacy 146
Irma Vep 149
Irreversible 153
It happened one night 156
The eroticism of words 160
Kinsey 162
Klute 166
The last of the Mohicans 169
Last tango in Paris 173
Last tango with grandma 176
Laura 178
Laurel Canyon 182
The long, hot summer 185
The Makioka sisters 189
McCabe & Mrs. Miller 192
Swoon, Britannia 195
Morocco 197
Mulholland Drive 200
The mummy 203
Habit-forming 206
O Fantasma 209
Ossessione 213
Pandora's box 216
Peeping Tom 219
Persona 222
Picnic 226
Poison ivy 230
My own private Barrymore 233
Rebecca 235
Secretary 239
The servant 243
Shampoo 247
Shanghai Express 250
The song of songs 253
Splendor in the grass 256
Talk dirty to me 260
Annette Haven : what's a classy girl like you doing in a movie like this? 264
The tango lesson 266
Tarzan and his mate 269
Trouble in paradise 272
Troy 275
Twentynine palms 278
Radley Metzger, soft-core auteur 280
The unbearable lightness of being 282
Wuthering Heights 286
Young Lady Chatterley 289
The last X-rated picture show 293
Y Tu Mama Tambien 295
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