The enthralling story of the movies: their rise and spread, their remarkable influence in the war years, and their slow decline to a form that is often richly entertaining, but no longer lays claim to lives the way it once did.The enthralling story of the movies: their rise and spread, their remarkable influence in the war years, and their slow decline to a form that is often richly entertaining, but no longer lays claim to lives the way it once did.Read Less
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Publishers Weekly, 2012-07-30 From 19th-century photographer Eadweard Muybridge's motion studies to the latest cable-TV and video game offerings, this fascinating history of movies and their spinoffs celebrates and indicts the flickering image that beguiles. Film critic and historian Thomson (The Whole Equation: A History of Hollywood) concentrates on American movies, but takes excursions to other national cinemas and stops in occasionally on I Love Lucy and other gems of the small screen. His is a loose-limbed, conversational narrative, moving fitfully through time, dawdling over directors and films that interest him, shamelessly ogling every starlet that strikes his fancy, spouting provocative opinions-thumbs up to Adam Sandler, thumbs down to Lars von Trier and his "insufferable" Dogme-tisms-at every turn, ruminating throughout on the ravishing, corrupting essence of light playing across empty screens. Crackling with ideas and vivid impressionisms (get a load of Lauren Bacall, "holding up a doorway in case it faints")-Thomson's stylish prose, simultaneously erudite and entertaining, captivates as it informs-and if things get overlooked in his idiosyncratic treatment (where's John Wayne?) one notices mainly because one is dying to hear what he thinks about them. Buffs and casual fans alike will enjoy this extra-large serving of popcorn for thought. Photos. (Oct. 16) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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