- Paperback: 848 pages
- Publisher: Knopf; 3 edition (November 1, 1994)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780679755647
- ISBN-13: 978-0679755647
- ASIN: 0679755640
- Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 2 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 8 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,936,126 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Biographical Dictionary of Film 3rd Edition
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From the Inside Flap
ated, and expanded, here is the indispensable reference for passionate filmgoers. Each of the 1,000 entries on leading international actors, directors, and producers is a carefully considered, perceptive, often provocative essay. As a result, the book is a major work of film criticism of the most informative and entertaining kind.
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Unfortunately, that opinion is from someone who apparently thinks one must be a curmudgeon in order to be a critic. It is obvious from this massive and hard-laboured work, that David Thomson is a pedant and a misanthrope. He really doesn't like much of anyone, especially those whose output is entertainment.
Woe be unto the actor or director deemed here as (a) politically incorrect or (b) an audience pleaser. As George Lucas has said, Thomson doesn't know much about the movie business. But he does know about Ceenéma Art.
If you are the type who thinks himself a cinema Enthusiast, who lives at the Penultimate Picture Palace, swooning at spittle on the faces of Dreyers's close-ups, you will no doubt relish Thomson's tome.
Thomson is first and foremost the densest writer about film out there; his economy is unparalleled, and it often takes two or three readings just to figure out how much he's saying in a single sentence. Most people won't agree with Thomson often, but that's the point: He's provocative, contrary, and dogmatic, the latter characteristics redeemed by his incisiveness. The challenge is to read him openly, consider his analyses fully, and form an opinion only then.
It's easy to fault Thomson for his selectivity, and the lapses between editions of his Biographical Dictionary of Film. But that's akin to criticizing your favorite author for not writing enough books. Thomson should be treasured for what he does offer; the world of film criticism would be a far poorer place without him.