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The Film Snob*s Dictionary: An Essential Lexicon of Filmological Knowledge Paperback – February 21, 2006
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“A witty, often devastatingly funny, ultra-sophisticated guide for the uninitiated, the would-be cinephile’s equivalent to decrypting the Rosetta Stone. Even I had no idea that Clint Howard was a cult figure.” —Bruce Goldstein, Repertory Program Director, Film Forum (New York) and founder, Rialto Pictures
About the Author
DAVID KAMP is a longtime writer for Vanity Fair, where short versions of The Film Snob*s Dictionary and the The Rock Snob*s Dictionary first appeared, and also contributes regularly to GQ. LAWRENCE LEVI has written about films and film culture for The New York Times, The Nation, and many other publications, and was a colleague of Kamp’s at Spy, the much-missed satirical magazine. Both Kamp and Levi live in New York.
ROSS MacDONALD’s illustrations have graced many major periodicals, including The New Yorker and Rolling Stone. He lives in Connecticut.
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The co-authors also provide guidance on how best to convey the patronizing tone essential to fortify your standing as a Film Snob, for instance, you can explain to your less cinematically evolved friends that "deep focus" is the "fetishized cinematographic technique that enables all the action in a shot, from the foreground to the deep background, to remain sharply focused. Hou Hsiao-Hsien's graceful use of deep focus recalls the work of Yasujiro Ozu, non?" The book opens with a brief introduction as to what makes for a Film Snob, the most stellar example being Quentin Tarantino, who went from geeky video-store clerk to world-renowned filmmaker due to his passion for such details, and most importantly, what separates them from the non-Snobs who worship at the altar of Fellini and Bergman, neither of whom show up as entries in this book.
Make no mistake that this is not a ringer for the nearly 1,000-page resource film historian David Thomson has spent most of his career gathering, The New Biographical Dictionary of Film, nor anything Halliwell's has produced over the years. This is just fun stuff with special feature pages included such as "A Guide to Snob Nomenclature ("Marty", never "Martin" Scorsese), the Snob Cheat Sheet for Confusing Similarities (Howard Hawks vs. Henry Hathaway, Britt Ekland vs. Elke Sommer), and Ten Lost Masterpieces (including Billy Wilder's Ace in the Hole, which subsequent to the book's publishing, has finally become available on DVD...on the Criterion Collection!). It's a quick read in order to impress your friends...or at least alienate them.
So the next time he comes in with the Civic, we ask him for a list of recommendations. Wes, our transmission expert, picks up a couple of the flicks on his list, and we're psyched to put in the first one, The Seventh Seal. WTF? We had no idea what was going on for the entire movie. A total dud. Next, we tried out The Bicycle Thief. The acting's pretty good, but the production values were really bad, and it looks like they didn't spend more than $1,000 on the whole budget. A real downer of a movie. After that, we just popped in Hunt For Red October and decided to stick with what we know.
Anyway, this book was really funny. Even if I didn't know about most of the movies or people the authors were talking about, I do feel like I know Mr. Civic pretty well.
If you've ever found yourself driving for over two hours to catch that acclaimed film everyone at Cannes was raving about. If the words "The Criterion Collection" causes your pulse to race with excitement. If you've suddenly found yourself friendless because your buddies got sick and tired of you raving about the latest and greatest Cronenberg film. Or if you find yourself in online arguments about why 'French Connection II' is the better film than the original, then this book is for you.
If you have a friend who is all of the above and who forces you to sit "in the third row" on the left when he drags you to a film, this book is the perfect tool that you can use to keep up with him. Or bring him back down to Earth! A nifty little book.
Oh, and by the way Messers Kamp and Levi, you guys are correct. 'Office Space' really does suck!!!
Most recent customer reviews
Theoretical definitions are hillarious (Apparatus), biographical entries are clever and sometimes...Read more
Lives up to its name! No, not offputtingly snobbish. Just in its deep knowledge.Read more