James Agee: Film Writing and Selected Journalism; The Night of the Hunter; Journalism and Book Reviews

Agee, James

Published by Library of America, 2005
ISBN 10: 1931082820 / ISBN 13: 9781931082822
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Stated FIRST Edition thus. A VERY FINE volume. Brown cloth (and brown illustrated end-papers), with gilt spine title; original ribbon marker in place. Black dust jacket has original price intact to lower front flap; rear flap has a short crease at top tip, else a perfect volume and jacket. Fabulous copy. FIRST edition. Mylar protected jacket. Bookseller Inventory #

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Synopsis: James Agee brought to bear all his moral energy, slashing wit, and boundless curiosity in the criticism and journalism that established him as one of the commanding literary voices of America at mid-century. In 1944 W. H. Auden called Agee’s film reviews for The Nation “the most remarkable regular event in American journalism today.” Those columns, along with much of the movie criticism that Agee wrote for Time through most of the 1940s, were collected posthumously in Agee on Film: Reviews and Comments, undoubtedly the most influential writings on film by an American. This Library of America volume supplements the classic pieces from Agee on Film with previously uncollected writings on Ingrid Bergman, the Marx Brothers, Alfred Hitchcock’s Lifeboat, Vittorio De Sica’s Shoeshine, and a wealth of other cinematic subjects.

Whether reviewing a Judy Garland musical or a wartime documentary, assessing the impact of Italian neorealism or railing against the compromises in a Hollywood adaptation of Hemingway, Agee always wrote of movies as a pervasive, profoundly significant part of modern life, a new art whose classics (Chaplin, Dovzhenko, Vigo) he revered and whose betrayal in the interests of commerce or propaganda he often deplored. If his frequent disappointments could be registered in acid tones, his enthusiasms were expressed with passionate eloquence.

Agee’s own work as a screenwriter is represented by his script for Charles Laughton’s unique and haunting masterpiece of Southern gothic, The Night of the Hunter, adapted from the novel by Davis Grubb. This collection also includes examples of Agee’s masterfully probing reporting for Fortune—on subjects as diverse as the Tennessee Valley Authority, commercial orchids, and cockfighting—and a sampling of his literary reviews, among them appreciations of William Faulkner, Virginia Woolf, S. J. Perelman, and William Carlos Williams.

LIBRARY OF AMERICA is an independent nonprofit cultural organization founded in 1979 to preserve our nation’s literary heritage by publishing, and keeping permanently in print, America’s best and most significant writing. The Library of America series includes more than 300 volumes to date, authoritative editions that average 1,000 pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that will last for centuries.

From the Back Cover: James Agee had a passion for art in all its aspects, but it was the new art of the movies that was his greatest inspiration as a critic. Agee on Film: Reviews and Comments, the classic collection of his pioneering reviews from the 1940s, has long been recognized as the single most influential American book about movies. Witty, probing, lacerating in his moral criticisms, eloquent in his admiration of filmmakers from Charlie Chaplin to John Huston, Agee is a critic who engages the reader no matter what subject he is writing about. This volume contains the full text of Agee on Film along with a trove of other previously uncollected film reviews; Agee's screenplay for Charles Laughton's gothic masterpiece The Night of the Hunter; and a fascinating selection of Agee's penetrating journalism and book reviews.

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Title: James Agee: Film Writing and Selected ...
Publisher: Library of America
Publication Date: 2005
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Fine
Edition: 1st Edition

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