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Seeing In The Dark: Anthology of Cinema Going Paperback – 1 Sep 1990

5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Serpent's Tail (1 Sept. 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1852421665
  • ISBN-13: 978-1852421663
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 16.5 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,028,186 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A collection of reminiscences of cinema-going, with a great cover of a snog on the back seats. Recent reissues of B S Johnson's novels remind me that there is a lost generation of English writers born around 1932-33, when Hitler rose to power and imposed on the lives of a generation. Those who were about to move into 'Junior school' in 1939 when WW2 broke out had a rude awakening when they left school in the late 1940's, early fifties. Unless they were unfit or lucky or smart they could look forward to National Service. When they re-emerged into proper work, the immediate world was dominated by their elder siblings, the so called Angry Young Men, busily taking over society. Mere kids were swept aside. And then the Sixties, when drugs, noise, dreadful music, shocking fashions and appalling behaviour made a mockery of everything taught by the ancient child-minders of the war years. Johnson was the archetypal recorder of the 1950 puzzled youths' state of mind. He edited/instigated three excellent anthologies, You Always Remember the First Time, The Evacuees and All Bull. On the other hand, Johnson was a bit of a depressive, it wasn't all that bad. Ian Breakwell's anthology, Seeing in the Dark,follows Johnson's initiative and records what it was like going to the flicks. It is almost better than Johnson. Thinking back, perhaps the Fifties was the key decade of the century, less treacherous than those that followed. Everything was more or less on the up. It was also an enormous joke, seeing the contrast between what we experienced in the dark, in the imagination, and what was happening all around outside i.e. as Johnson put it, the failure to give real socialism a chance. The threat of the bomb was real, and it concentrated the mind. Cinema saved us. And many since, as this delightful anthology proves. Buy it, you will want to read it more than once.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Ian Breakwell was an artist who amongst his projects produced a number of films none of which would have been shown in the kind of cinemas discussed here but fun in any event. There are many books about "cinema" but few about the experience of "going to the cinema". For those of us who grew up in the dark mesmerised by the silky Black and White or gorgeous Technicolor these anecdotes and memoirs will strike a chord. I could have written an entry myself but reading whats here I often found myself thinking of the scene from "Freaks" reprised in "The Player"; "one of us, one of us!"
A visit to the digital boxes of today is a far poorer experience than those celebrated here. If you remember the lady with a tray,Coming Attractions and Look at Life or enjoyed "Cinema Paradisio" you may well enjoy this.
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Format: Paperback
Another triumph from Serpent's Tail. I know movie-going hasn't died out precisely but this compilation (whose actual subtitle, Amazon, is A Compendium of Cinemagoing) describes experiences now as remote from us as the music hall or the penny dreadful. To say this is beautifully produced doesn't do it justice (layout and design Fiona Keating) and the range of contributors is quirky as it gets, not your usual suspects. But I guess anyone reading this will have those memories, precious and unrepeatable, with which the cloistered solitude and pushbutton repetition of the DVD player (or whatever it's called these days - GCSE? RSI?) cannot possibly compete

Take a butcher's at the unbelievable Weegee cover (during a 3-D showing!) and get ahold of this gem - only seven copies listed at under a tenner
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