Film lovers seeking critical guidance more discerning than daily newspaper reviews but less daunting than scholarly journal articles depend on a handful of critics who write about rarefied films for a general audience. 1001 Movies You Must See before You Die
puts a user-friendly mask on the serious thought animating its effort to create a roster of indispensable films and rather belies the erudition of its well-qualified contributors. The chosen 1,001 are chronologically listed, from the surreal sf short A Trip to the Moon
(1902) to Russian Ark
(both 2002). This list has been compiled with an eye to historical importance and popular acclaim, which explains the presence of such critically suspect crowd-pleasers as Saturday Night Fever, Top Gun
, and E.T
. Since Chantal Akerman's nearly four-hour Jeanne Dielman
and the Czech psychedelic farce Sedmikrasky (Daisies)
also appear, it can't, however, be accused of pandering to popular taste. Attractive design, incorporating stills from most chosen titles, makes the volume a browser's delight as well as a useful guide for casual viewers and film buffs alike. Gordon FlaggCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
"1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die is one heavy, fat tome, but it's a great motivating guide to cinema. After reading one of its engaging, often profound entries on a missed film, you want to run out to Premiere Video and rent it. Best of all, it includes international, silent, animated and recent films such as City of God. And yes, Richard Linklater's Slacker is here."
Dallas Morning News
, April 29, 2004
"Instead of simply summarizing the plot, Schneider and his team of experts briefly explain why each film is a must see. … Schneider's choices are irrefutable. Highly recommended for all film, general public, and academic reference collections."
, April 15, 2004
"An excellent new film anthology from Barron's Publishing… 1001 Movies will serve as one of your ultimate movie guides. It presents everything you need to know about the must-see films… For students of cinema, for discerning film buffs, for enthusiastic fans, and for readers who enjoy thumbing through reminiscing over unforgettable screen memories, here's the place to start reading."
The Wave Channel Guide
, February 14, 2004
"…the book is a pretty good one, Schneider's sources are solid… the book is much more reliable that the New York Times book of '1,000 Movies Ever Made.' … illustrations often opt for choice rarities rather than ordinary iconography."
, February 22, 2004
"The critical essays that I've sampled are concise and intelligent.Style:
*** 3 StarsUsefulness:
*** 3 Stars"
Charles Matthews, Mercury News
, February 29, 2004
"If you're constantly wondering what to pop into the VCR or DVD player, get this book!"
, March 8, 2004
"A mammoth-size, newspaper-weight coffee table book celebrating the twentieth century celluloid canon…"
, April 2004
"Every essay demonstrates Rosenbaum's fervent dedication to the cinema and more important that he has the knowledge and insight to support his impassioned opinions. … compiled with an eye to historical importance and popular acclaim. … a useful guide for casual viewers and film buffs alike."
Gordon Flagg, Booklist
, April 1, 2004
"Packed with color photos throughout, this is eye candy at its best."
, June 2004