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Midnight Movies (Da Capo Paperback) Paperback – March 22, 1991

4.7 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

J. Hoberman is a film critic who writes for theVillage Voice and other publications. Jonathan Rosenbaum is the co-author of Midnight Movies, author of Moving Places, Placing Movies, and Movies as Politics; and film critic for the Chicago Reader.
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Product Details

  • Series: Da Capo Paperback
  • Paperback: 360 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press (March 22, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0306804336
  • ISBN-13: 978-0306804335
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #434,428 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is one of the first serious film books I ever picked up. The picture of ol' Jack Nance from David Lynch's Eraserhead is what caught my eye. After reading the first paragraph of the first chapter, I was hooked.
Written by, arguably, the two best critics around -- J. Hoberman (who writes for the Village Voice) and Jonathan Rosenbaum (who writes for the Chicago Reader) -- this is an excellent look at a bygone era of movie-going. They document the midnight movie circuit that used to exist across the country for films too weird and strange for mainstream consumption. Sadly, most of these theatres are gone now -- swallowed up by the multiplex monster.
These guys clearly did their homework -- their chapters on the early careers of Lynch, Alejandro Jodorowsky, John Waters and George Romero are definitive. Best of all, their writing style is never dry or academic but very readable (it helps that these guys write for weeklies).
This book is a must-have for any fan of cult movies (and esp. the above mentioned directors). I have read it many, many times and it inspired me to be a writer myself. Great stuff.
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Format: Paperback
Long, long ago, in the age before the videocassette and enormous theater chains, a strange cultural phenomenon once existed: the midnight movie. Movies that either couldn't get a regular run or had gotten one and bombed were often exhibited at midnight in independent theaters to audiences craving a different experience. Jonathan Rosenbaum and J. Hoberman explore this all-but-extinct cinematic experience in Midnight Movies.

Midnight Movies begins with an exploration of the beginning of the midnight phenomenon, harkening back to the 40's and 50's cult and exploitation films which gave rise to the art films of the 1960's. Films from Jack Smith, Luis Bunel, Hershell Gordon Lewis, and Andy Warhol are discussed. Many of these films, while unimportant on their own, pushed boundaries and proved that a small commercial market existed for off-beat cinema. Midnight Movies then moves on to explore the impact on film and audiences of four midnight offerings: Alexandro Jodorowsky's El Topo, George Romero's Night of the Living Dead, John Waters' Pink Flamingos, and David Lynch's Eraserhead.

Jodorowsky's El Topo was perhaps the first major midnight movie, playing for weeks at midnight in various New York venues. El Topo begins as a western, although the film gets more surreal and philosophical as each reel is spun. The film chronicles the story of a gunfighter who must kill four master sharpshooters to prove his love for a girl he snatches from one of his victims. As strange as it is oddly religious, El Topo was a sensation that attracted a superstar audience for this Mexican import.

Far from Mexico--in the exotic locales of western Pennsylvania--the next midnight sensation was under construction.
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Format: Paperback
A lot of these directors have had entire books written about them since this book was published, but the authors manage to make this book so entertaining and fascinating that I've reread it twice-- I usually just read nonfiction once and then use it for reference. If they would put England's The Incredibly Strange Film Show (and the spin-offs Son Of... and For One Week Only)out on DVD, it would rival this book. Until then, this is the most vital source of information on cult movies.
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Format: Paperback
Still in print after almost 20 years? You know it has got to be good. This book was an essential part of my film education, turning me on to a dozen great flicks I might never have heard of otherwise.
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Format: Paperback
Very good - really eclectic coverage. It has a lot of material on underground films from the late 60s, as well as "Rocky Horror", Alexandro Jodorowsky, and John Waters. Highly recommended.
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