The Best American Movie Writing 1999

ISBN 13: 9780312244934

The Best American Movie Writing 1999

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9780312244934: The Best American Movie Writing 1999

The exciting yearly tradition continues with The Best American Movie Writing 1999, with Academy Award-winning director and writer Peter Bogdanovich as guest editor. He has chosen over 25 of the sharpest movie writings of the year from a host of contenders culled from a wide range of magazines and journals. He has selected the work of celebrated cinema writers such as Molly Haskell, Andrew Sarris, Roger Ebert, Rex Reed, Jonathan Rosenbaum, and David Denby, legendary directors Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg, distinguished novelists and essayists Gore Vidal, Philip Lopate, and E.L. Doctorow, as well as many innovative newcomers. With an introduction by Bogdanovich, a foreword by Jason Shinder, and a new directory of American movie magazines, The Best American Movie Writing 1999 is a lively and stunning addition to this new series of superior film writing.

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Review:

Peter Bogdanovich is an original in the movie biz--an artist with a scholar's soul. Or is that vice versa? The director of The Last Picture Show has written several books--learned and loving books--about film, and this collection of 26 energetic, visceral, and witty essays on movies past and present reveals his connoisseurship of other people's prose too. Among the writers, some have marquee value (Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg), two are slumming novelists (Gore Vidal, E.L. Doctorow), and then there are the usual suspects: Roger Ebert, Jonathan Rosenbaum, Andrew Sarris, Robin Wood, Molly Haskell--tenacious, long-time hunchers in the dark and students of the movies. Here, all take longer views, mostly of the past, in pieces originally written for film maven journals like Film Comment and Cineaste, or for magazines like The New Yorker that regularly spill ink on what one writer here describes as "caressing the details" of movies.

Some choices are inspired. Scorsese recalls the cathedral in Little Italy with a Don DeLillo-ish pleasure in spectacle. David Denby rants acutely against the marketing juggernauts that have muted critics so utterly in recent years. Bruce Wagner interweaves stories of the silent film star Billie Dove in a tale with a gauzy kick. And there are surprises too. Remember Rex Reed? The acid-tongued smoothie who used to coax comments you wouldn't believe from big stars (and then print them) delivers a grieving valentine to Kay Thompson, creator of Eloise. And Terrence Rafferty, usually a bit of a heavy-breather, steps up to the plate with a winsome deconstruction of feminine beauty in current and bygone cinema. All in all, a must-have for lovers of conversation about film. --Lyall Bush

From the Publisher:

"A veritable multiplex of sharp prose...essays like these help us see more clearly-not merely by shaping our opinions of movies but by deepening our love of them." --Entertainment Weekly

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Published by St. Martin's Griffin (1999)
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