Film on Paper: The Inner Life of Movies
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Paperback, Natl Book Network, 2008, ISBN13 9781566637596, ISBN10 1566637597
About this item
Publishers Weekly,Schickel, film critic for Time magazine, contends the majority books on film are by "hack journalists or dull-witted academics." To help movie fans size up those books, Schickel has compiled his own book reviews into a user-friendly collection. It's well written and has the added virtue of expounding on the history of cinema. Originally published in the Los Angeles Times, Schickel's reviews cover books written between 1989 and 2007. He admits that covering the movie industry can be a daunting task. Myths that surround it are accepted without analysis. Directors' bios or interviews can be tricky, he adds, since the subjects often "refuse to illuminate their work." A notable exception is On Film-making by Alexander Mackendrick (The Guns of Navarone), which he calls a valuable guide for a novice director. Yet standard texts, such as The Genius of the System, are slammed for faulty logic rather than applauded for solid insights. For Schickel, Edward Epstein's The Big Picture illustrates the worst offenses: obvious deductions, vague theories and substandard writing. Yet he gives credit where it is due, honoring the commendable research in The Dame in the Kimono, an examination of the Hays Code. Schickel sets a high bar for film books and provides a trusted stamp of approval. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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