What a waste. Whoever thought Griel Marcus had anything of value or merit to add to the lexicon of film artistry - much less one of the great works of film artistry - completely missed the boat - or doesn't care to see this film get the passionate discussion it deserves. BFI Film Classics have issued an incredible set of books devoted to individually worthy films - such as this one. But this must be the worst book in a truly great series. Honestly, this must be a joke. It's got to be. I don't care if Griel Marcus is a professor, esteemed or respected, outré-hip or passé-hip. This guy has no business talking about, reflecting on or wasting anybody's time with his useless commentary on film. He was the wrong man for the job. This is a book about film as cultural signifier - and little else. Kennedy and Oswald. Columbine and George Bush. Kennedy and Sinatra. Who cares. The book, the film, and ultimately, the meaning of "The Manchurian Candidate" has nothing whatsoever to do with Bob Dylan, Aretha Franklin or any of the endless quotes Marcus pulls from a library trip's worth of newspaper articles that refer back to the film. If you had no other point of reference other than this book, Marcus may convince you that this film is more symbolic than meaningful - and even hollowly symbolic. This is not a book about film, the art of film, the art of this particularly magnificent film or the artists who had anything to do with this film. It's about Marcus and the way he views the world - or the way he views the world through the lens of this film. Again, who the hell cares? This film is far too important to be left to someone whose trite aphorisms are as meaningless as those of Griel Marcus - an alleged writer who seems awfully damned confident to write his subject off so easily. Proof that you just can't hide behind other people's quotes - or your own cleverly-worded turns of phrase that have little to do with the subject at hand.