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John Huston's Filmmaking (Cambridge Studies in Film) Paperback – October 13, 1997

3 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0521586702 ISBN-10: 0521586704 Edition: 0th

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Editorial Reviews

Review

'In this thoughtful study Brill accounts for Huston's critical neglect by pointing the finger squarely at 50s and 60s auteur critics ...'. Sight and Sound

Book Description

John Huston's Filmmaking offers an analysis of the life and work of one of the greatest American independent filmmakers. Always visually exciting, Huston's films sensitively portray humankind in all its incarnations, chronicling the attempts by protagonists to conceive and articulate their identities. In this study, Lesley Brill shows Huston's films to be far more than formulaic adventures of masculine failure, arguing instead that they demonstrate the close connection between humanity, the natural world, and divinity.
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Product Details

  • Series: Cambridge Studies in Film
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (October 13, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521586704
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521586702
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,323,091 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Adam Zanzie on June 25, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Professor Brill's deeply analytical study of about 12 or so of Huston's greatest films was an invaluable study aid for me when I launched a "John Huston Blogathon" in August of 2010. Huston is without question one of the greatest of all American filmmakers, and yet it's always been difficult to make a case for him as an artist, as an intellectual, etc.

Brill's book, written in the 1990's, was only the first book to ever really consider the prospect of Huston as an auteur, so it's quite understandable how Brill only covers a dozen of the master's works. There are certain important titles I wish Brill had covered, such as The Asphalt Jungle (1950), The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean (1972), Wise Blood (1979), Under the Volcano (1984) and Prizzi's Honor (1985), but perhaps those titles weren't as highly regarded back then as they are today.

The book itself is fantastic. Brill has done a better job than anyone else in evaluating what makes films like Maltese Falcoln, Let There Be Light, Treasure of the Sierra Madre, The Misfits, Fat City and The Man Who Would Be King so brilliant. The chapter on The Dead is particularly beautiful, and helped me appreciate that painfully-unrecognized masterpiece even more.

All in all, Professor Brill's book is an essential stepping stone in understanding what made Huston an artist. Now I'm eagerly waiting for some brave soul to write a comprehensive biography of this great director! Anyone wanna step up to the plate?
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Good all in all. But I hoped for information on "Beat the Devil"'s first tske. Who sencored it? None the like there. So I could have gotten the information online, not buying a bulky book.

Cheers, Ania
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By Dr René Codoni on September 5, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Lesley Brill: John Huston's Filmmaking (Cambridge Studies in Film), 1997

>>>>>John Huston's Filmmaking offers an analysis of the life and work of one of the greatest American independent filmmakers. Always visually exciting, Huston's films sensitively portray humankind in all its incarnations, chronicling the attempts by protagonists to conceive and articulate their identities. In this study, Lesley Brill shows Huston's films to be far more than formulaic adventures of masculine failure, arguing instead that they demonstrate the close connection among humanity, the natural world, and divinity. >>>>>Publisher's Book Description

Not only in John Huston's case, biographies and autobiographies tend to go for "all" - all the movies, all the marriages, all the awards. This aiming at one hundred percent often misses the target altogether: facts tend to stifle analysis, the bag gets full, but the magic is gone. Not, mind you, because we now know all, but because we suffocated the creative and artistic components, which lend themselves more to an analytical than to a narrative approach.

Lesley Brill avoids this trap - he never even bothers to explain why he does not cover all films. But what we get is substantial analysis, non-chronological, and the "humanity" and "divinity" spoken of at the end of the Publisher's book description does not really interfere with the reader's own conclusions. A book you open again and again, because it remains stimulating as it captures more of the man than many bigger tomes do.

fbus58 - Brill-Huston (1997) - 6/9/2021
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