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Death Wish (Deep Focus) Paperback – November 1, 2010

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Product Details

  • Series: Deep Focus
  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Soft Skull Press (November 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1593762895
  • ISBN-13: 978-1593762896
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 4.7 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,408,900 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jon Gabin on July 5, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Christopher Sorrentino's Death Wish is the second monograph in the Deep Focus series, which offers "a novel approach" to long-form film criticism by recruiting contemporary authors to discuss films of their choosing. Here Sorrentino, author of Sound on Sound and Trance, writes on Michael Winner's Death Wish, the infamous vigilante film starring Charles Bronson. In the film, Bronson plays Manhattanite Paul Kersey who, coping with a violent crime against his family, chooses to become a vigilante.

Sorrentino opens with choice words condemning the aggressive panning of the film by critics at the time of its release in 1974, an idée fixe in the chapters that follow. His roasting of the apparent ignorance and prejudice of the critics- in their "moral outrage" came the resultant failure to see Death Wish as a complete film, as opposed to its simple "provocations" - acts as a unifying element of the text. The body of which text consists of four chapters that may be read as independent essays (while an appendix offers a helpful plot synopsis), exploring Death Wish from four different approaches which amalgamate in a more considerate exploration of the film.

In "Death Wish and the City," Sorrentino praises Winner's decidedly non-authentic, non-documentarian approach to the tired premise of "the city as character," instead flattening it into generic set pieces at the expense of local color: "New York is a cave into which predators can crawl. Bronson discovers himself in the cave.
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