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Negative Space: Manny Farber On The Movies Paperback – March 21, 1998


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 412 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press; Expanded edition (March 21, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0306808293
  • ISBN-13: 978-0306808296
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #585,935 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Manny Farber's early film criticism appeared in the New Republic, the Nation, and theNew Leader; his essays with Patricia Patterson were published by Artforum, City, and Film Comment. A lifelong painter, Farber has exhibited his work nationally since 1958 and has had retrospectives at Los Angeles's Museum of Contemporary Art, Pittsburgh's Carnegie Museum, Brandeis University's Rose Museum, and museums in the San Diego area. He and Patterson live in Leucadia, California.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By R. J. C. Roeber on June 8, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I opened the book with high expectations: Farber has a reputation. I suspect this is, ipso facto, because he swims against the tide of received opinion - which goes down well in radical circles.
Some, very few, of his reviews were brilliant, mind-stretching. "Underground Films" was the best of these and justly famous. But, as I read on, I grew tired of the anti-intellectualism, the reflex dismissal of the currently-admired greats of art cinema and the elevation of the skillful journeyman storyteller. It is all very much in the tradition of American populist iconoclasm and, to my taste, tiresomely reductive.
His taste in the visual arts and music, which he uses to illustrate his points on films, is distinctly fallible. His use of language is often startling, occasionally apt but even more often random. Like a drive-by shooting he leaves a lot of collateral damage.
I'm sure he provides a material for excitable analysis in fetid film course seminars but, for the rest of us amateurs, I wouldn't recommend the book except for very selective reading. Start - and maybe finish - with "Underground".
JR
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Marilyn J. Califf on January 21, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I did not know enough background to really appreciate this book. I have been going to movies for over 50 years and i am an artist with a BFA and an MFA and it was still a difficult book for me. The title said to me that he would discuss spatial things about the movies. But he talks about many things and not spatial things.
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14 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on July 8, 2003
Format: Paperback
A cult book. Not being in on the cult, let me say that Farber had pretty good taste in movies, liking hard-boiled masculine shoot-em-ups in the Forties. And he is, apparently, a very good painter, still having one man shows today in his late eighties. Still, he was a hideously disorganized writer. Reviews seem to start and end at random points in his chain of thoughts. There are some good phrases, but I'd be hard pressed to recount many coherent ideas from his book. It's not that he's lacking good ideas -- in fact, he has too many. He's just not very good at putting them into a comprehensible form. If you are a fanatic for either forties tough guy directors or late sixties artsy directors, you'll no doubt benefit from grinding through the book, but for the general reader, it's a struggle.
I'm hardly surprised that he gave up reviewing over 25 years ago for painting. Writing just doesn't seem to be his strong suit.
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