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The New Biographical Dictionary Of Film 5Th Ed Hardcover – 4 Nov 2010
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'Essential reading. epic erudition and an equally epic sense of mischief' - Douglas Kennedy, Independent * 'It's still the only movie book you'd want with you on a desert island' - Time Out * 'For film fans there is no more transcendental book. Untouchable' - Sunday Times --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
* The fifth edition of an indispensable reference book for filmgoers, completely revised and brought up to date with more than 200 new entries - 1,000 in all.See all Product description
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As for DT on Kidman - Lordy Lord! Dark and deviant, or just a piss-take on fandom (including himself)? Well, both, obvi, but I suspect more the latter - the sort of abject love or fetishisation that stardom embodies (ha!). What are Bardot, Karina or the lightweight Kidman but commodities, canvases on which we write our dreams? Ms K herself here merits only half a page. (Anna Karina gets more, but she was in some immortal movies.) How to quantify Gish, Garbo, Kelly or Taylor? (Monro probably qualifies as an actress. |Actually I'm being unfair - I'm sure Gish did too once she was allowed to speak.) Worth noting too are DT's novel Suspects and his boyhood memoir Try to Tell the Story. Can't wait for the biog. What japes, Pip..
* actually, second to the blues (and its divers tributaries, jazz et al); but if the blues stand alone I'm prepared to give movies the laurels (and Hardies) not because they go deeper but because they go wider
** No room, I told myself. I lied
I'm simply adding to what other people have said, yes, it is a great book, my copy is worn and tattered, has notes and underlinings on most of the pages. I have read nearly all of it a few times, there's no way of telling because while some people (my brother included) read it from cover to cover like a novel, i just dip in to read up on a specific person, and it's sort of like working through a maze, you start with one person and get sucked in, next thing you know 3 hours have passed and you've been led on from entry to entry. It's very addictive! Not least because it is so well written, besides the actual passion and (at times philosophical, even poetic) understanding of film and what it does to people.
Though maybe Thomson himself is getting a little weary of film, he's in his 70's now, he can't update it forever, and as a writer i suppose it's only expected that writing would be his foremost passion. Hence the amount of writing that he has actually produced.
There are a number of other Thomson books out there.. - Have you seen? Rosebud. A recent Memoir. A recent series on famous hollywood stars. Alien Quartet. Suspects, Beneath Mulholland. Besides his other writings on the Nevada desert, the race to the Antarctic, and Laurence Sterne. Not forgetting his numerous articles for the Guardian newspaper and Salon.com.
But The New Biographical Dictionary of Film is the one to start with, just make sure you have a bit of time to spare before you start looking.
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