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The New Biographical Dictionary of Film: Fifth Edition, Completely Updated and Expandedby David Thomson
Synopses & Reviews
For almost thirty years, David Thomsons Biographical Dictionary of Film has been not merely “the finest reference book ever written about movies” (Graham Fuller, Interview), not merely the “desert island book” of art critic David Sylvester, not merely “a great, crazy masterpiece” (Geoff Dyer, The Guardian), but also “fiendishly seductive” (Greil Marcus, Rolling Stone).
This new edition updates the older entries and adds 30 new ones: Darren Aronofsky, Emmanuelle Beart, Jerry Bruckheimer, Larry Clark, Jennifer Connelly, Chris Cooper, Sofia Coppola, Alfonso Cuaron, Richard Curtis, Sir Richard Eyre, Sir Michael Gambon, Christopher Guest, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Spike Jonze, Wong Kar-Wai, Laura Linney, Tobey Maguire, Michael Moore, Samantha Morton, Mike Myers, Christopher Nolan, Dennis Price, Adam Sandler, Kevin Smith, Kiefer Sutherland, Charlize Theron, Larry Wachowski and Andy Wachowski, Lew Wasserman, Naomi Watts, and Ray Winstone.
In all, the book includes more than 1300 entries, some of them just a pungent paragraph, some of them several thousand words long. In addition to the new “musts,” Thomson has added key figures from film history–lively anatomies of Graham Greene, Eddie Cantor, Pauline Kael, Abbott and Costello, Noël Coward, Hoagy Carmichael, Dorothy Gish, Rin Tin Tin, and more.
Here is a great, rare book, one that encompasses the chaos of art, entertainment, money, vulgarity, and nonsense that we call the movies. Personal, opinionated, funny, daring, provocative, and passionate, it is the one book that every filmmaker and film buff must own. Time Out named it one of the ten best books of the 1990s. Gavin Lambert recognized it as “a work of imagination in its own right.” Now better than ever–a masterwork by the man playwright David Hare called “the most stimulating and thoughtful film critic now writing.”
From the Trade Paperback edition.
For 25 years, Thomson's "Biographical Dictionary of Film" has been not merely "the finest reference book ever written about movies" (Graham Fuller, "Interview"), but also "fiendishly seductive" (Greil Marcus, "Rolling Stone").
A provocative, highly engaging essay on the art of pretending on the stage, on screen, and in daily life
Part of James Atlas’s Icons series, a revealing look at the life and work of David Lynch, one of the most enigmatic and influential filmmakers of our time
At once a pop culture icon, cult figure, and film industry outsider, master filmmaker David Lynch and his work defy easy definition. Dredged from his subconscious mind, Lynch’s work is primed to act on our own subconscious, combining heightened, contradictory emotions into something familiar but inscrutable. No less than his art, Lynch’s life also evades simple categorization, encompassing pursuits as a musician, painter, photographer, carpenter, entrepreneur, and vocal proponent of Transcendental Meditation.
David Lynch: The Man From Another Place, Dennis Lim’s remarkably smart and concise book, proposes several lenses through which to view Lynch and his work: trough the age-old mysteries of the uncanny and the sublime, through the creative energies of surrealism and postmodernism, through theories of dreams and of good and evil. Lynch himself often warns against overinterpretation. And accordingly, this is not a book that seeks to decode his art or annotate his life—to dispel the strangeness of the Lynchian—so much as one that offers complementary ways of seeing and understanding one of the most distinctive bodies of work in modern cinema. Its spirit is true to its subject, in remaining suggestive rather than definitive, in allowing what Lynch likes to call “room to dream,” and in honoring the allure of the unknown and the unknowable.
A revealing look at the life and work of David Lynch, one of the most enigmatic and influential filmmakers of our time
Every frame of David Lynch's work, from the '70s midnight movie Eraserhead to the groundbreaking TV series Twin Peaks, to the digital-video DIY feat Inland Empire, bears his unmistakable imprint. But the paradox of the Lynchian is that it's easy to recognize and hard to define. Lynch is a master of the inscrutable gesture, the opaque symbol. His career evades the usual categories: pop culture icon and subject of academic study, cult figure and industry outsider. He's a Renaissance man—musician, painter, photographer, carpenter, entrepreneur—and a vocal proponent or transcendental meditation.
Dennis Lim, the newly minted director of Cinematheque programming at Lincoln Center, is a skilled cinephile wary of over-interpretation. David Lynch preserves the strangeness of the Lynch's universe and offers a personal meditation on the most distinctive filmmaker in modern American culture. It leaves what Lynch likes to call "room to dream," honoring the allure of the unknown and the unknowable.
About the Author
David Thomson has taught film studies at Dartmouth College, has served on the selection committee for the New York Film Festival, and is a regular contributor to The Guardian, The Independent, The New York Times, The Nation, Movieline, The New Republic, and Salon. He was the screenwriter on the award-winning documentary The Making of a Legend: Gone With the Wind. Thomson lives in San Francisco with his family.
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