Flicker: A Novel (Rediscovered Classics)

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9781556525773: Flicker: A Novel (Rediscovered Classics)

From the golden age of art movies and underground cinema to X-rated porn, splatter films, and midnight movies, this breathtaking thriller is a tour de force of cinematic fact and fantasy, full of metaphysical mysteries that will haunt the dreams of every moviegoer. Jonathan Gates could not have anticipated that his student studies would lead him to uncover the secret history of the movies—a tale of intrigue, deception, and death that stretches back to the 14th century. But he succumbs to what will be a lifelong obsession with the mysterious Max Castle, a nearly forgotten genius of the silent screen who later became the greatest director of horror films, only to vanish in the 1940s, at the height of his talent. Now, 20 years later, as Jonathan seeks the truth behind Castle's disappearance, the innocent entertainments of his youth—the sexy sirens, the screwball comedies, the high romance—take on a sinister appearance. His tortured quest takes him from Hollywood's Poverty Row into the shadowy lore of ancient religious heresies. He encounters a cast of exotic characters, including Orson Welles and John Huston, who teach him that there's more to film than meets the eye, and journeys through the dark side of nostalgia, where the Three Stooges and Shirley Temple join company with an alien god whose purposes are anything but entertainment.

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About the Author:

Theodore Roszak was a professor of history at California State University–Hayward and the author of 18 books, including the international bestseller The Making of a Counter Culture. He has twice been nominated for the National Book Award. His articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Nation, The Atlantic Monthly, and Harper's. Roszak died in July 2011.

From Publishers Weekly:

This latest effort by the author of the seminal The Making of the Counterculture is a quirky, sexy, sprawling novel that comprises, among other things, a magical mystery tour of the history of cinema, an acid satire on Hollywood and what passes for today's cultural avant-garde, a metaphysical puzzle, an exploration of the psychological impact of films and a parable about the modern spiritual wasteland. UCLA film scholar and critic Jonathan Gates becomes obsessed with legendary German expressionist filmmaker Max Castle, who went to Hollywood in the mid-1920s and whose vampire and ghoul B-movies are viewed by cult fans as deeply troubling evocations of evil. On the trail of Castle's dark past, Gates and his ex-girlfriend, tough-minded film critic Clare Swann, encounter medieval gnostic heresies, secret societies, a teenage genius albino movie producer and an aged Dutch ex-vamp who practices tantric-like sex. Crammed with film lore that will regale cinema buffs, the narrative segues from its realistic beginning into a bizarre, apocalyptic fantasy that eventually spins off the reel, illuminating in the end only a very private, muddled vision.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Book Description Chicago Review Press, United States, 2005. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Expanded ed.. Language: English . Brand New Book. From the golden age of art movies and underground cinema to X-rated porn, splatter films, and midnight movies, this breathtaking thriller is a tour de force of cinematic fact and fantasy, full of metaphysical mysteries that will haunt the dreams of every moviegoer. Jonathan Gates could not have anticipated that his student studies would lead him to uncover the secret history of the movies--a tale of intrigue, deception, and death that stretches back to the 14th century. But he succumbs to what will be a lifelong obsession with the mysterious Max Castle, a nearly forgotten genius of the silent screen who later became the greatest director of horror films, only to vanish in the 1940s, at the height of his talent. Now, 20 years later, as Jonathan seeks the truth behind Castle s disappearance, the innocent entertainments of his youth--the sexy sirens, the screwball comedies, the high romance--take on a sinister appearance. His tortured quest takes him from Hollywood s Poverty Row into the shadowy lore of ancient religious heresies. He encounters a cast of exotic characters, including Orson Welles and John Huston, who teach him that there s more to film than meets the eye, and journeys through the dark side of nostalgia, where the Three Stooges and Shirley Temple join company with an alien god whose purposes are anything but entertainment. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9781556525773

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