On Movies

Bold, informative and irreverent, Macdonald s essays range from Hollywood comedy, the Bible movies to a study of Soviet cinema He isnt afraid, along w Pauline Kael, to knock the auteur theory by pointing out that film is a collective art Cinema is the art to which the auteur theory is least suitable Acerbic, but always an audacious thinker.
On Movies Bold informative and irreverent Macdonald s essays range from Hollywood comedy the Bible movies to a study of Soviet cinema He isnt afraid along w Pauline Kael to knock the auteur theory by point

  • Title: On Movies
  • Author: Dwight Macdonald John Simon
  • ISBN: 9780306801501
  • Page: 375
  • Format: Paperback
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    1 thought on “On Movies”

    1. Before Kael, there was Macdonald - a sterlingessayist-writer/thinker-provocateur (1906-82). Heshould be read x anyone interested in film andthe art of writing. A one-of-a-kind individualist.Doris Day: "She has only one expression besidesher usual pleasantly bovine one -- she opens hereyes wide."Otto Preminger : "A great showman who has never botheredto learn anything about making a movie."Marienbad: "Not a masterpiece, but so curiouslyfascinating that I saw it 3xs in one week.'Hitch & The Bi [...]

    2. I am not a particular fan of movie critics with the exception of the late, lamented Roger Ebert but often enjoy seeing what the "experts" think about particular films. Dwight Macdonald had a 40 year career and obviously was a leading critic of his time. Frankly, he comes across as a pompous ass who never saw a film, director, or actor that he liked. He was so negative and condescending that I couldn't even get halfway through this book. Ugh!!!!!

    3. I really just skimmed this, I didn't read the sections on Russian Cinema, or the the material on foreign films I haven't seen--it was alright; I read parts of this book a long time ago,when I was still in grade school, and of course, a lot of it went right over my head. Now, with a lot more movies under my belt and (one assumes) a better understanding of life, I find I disagree with a lot of MacDonald's opinions about moviesd life. I did appreciate the digs against Pauline Kael, though.

    4. I was a student of Dwight Macdonald during the years he taught film at various universities around the country, so my introduction to him was in person, and to say that he was impressive is the height of understatement. This collection of reviews and commentary covers global cinema from the silents to the sixties, and it is peerless-- a view shared by film critic Peter Rainer, who told me he's almost memorized Macdonald). The best primer on understanding film I've ever encountered, and the least [...]

    5. Let's be fair - I read a few of MacDonald's essays and reviews. Understandably his emphasis is on early film history, and that is interesting. However, I found his general tone to be so negative as to be toxic, so I gave up. I may try another time when I come to his writing knowing what to expect.

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