Synopses & Reviews
The wide gamut of films that turn us on, as judged by the most distinguished group of movie critics in America.
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.
"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." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Because the selections represent so many genres and nations, the collection has going for it, besides its theme, a variety that most critical compilations lack." Booklist
"Filled with some of the best contemporary writing on film that you're likely to find." January Magazine (Best of 2006)
"There hasn't been a film book this sexy or fun in years." MovieMaker
"A fascinating, entertaining read, some of it startling, some of it unsettling, and some of it a real hoot." Santa Fe New Mexican
The National Society of Film Critics dares to go where no mainstream critics have gone before. Here is their take on the films that quicken their pulses, an entertaining overview of the most arousing films Hollywood has ever produced.
The wide gamut of films that turn us on, as judged by the most distinguished group of movie critics in America
About the Author
Jami Bernard has been a film critic since 1986 and currently writes for the New York Daily News.