How to Watch a Movie

How to Watch a Movie

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From one of the most admired critics of our time, brilliant insights into the act of watching movies and an enlightening discussion about how to derive more from any film experience. Since first publishing his landmark Biographical Dictionary of Film in 1975 (recently released in its sixth edition), David Thomson has been one of our most provocative authorities on all things cinema. Now he offers his most inventive exploration of the medium yet: guiding us through each element of the viewing experience, considering the significance of everything from what we see and hear on-screen actors, shots, cuts, dialogue, music to the specifics of how, where, and with whom we do the viewing. With customary candor and wit, Thomson delivers keen analyses of a range of films from classics such as Psycho and Citizen Kane to contemporary fare such as 12 Years a Slave and All Is Lost, revealing how to more deeply appreciate both the artistry and (yes) manipulation of film, and how watching movies approaches something like watching life itself. Discerning, funny, and utterly unique, How to Watch a Movie is a welcome twist on a classic proverb: Give a movie fan a film, she ll be entertained for an hour or two; teach a movie fan to watch, his experience will be enriched forever. "show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 242 pages
  • 140 x 213 x 28mm | 431g
  • Knopf Publishing Group
  • United States
  • English
  • 1101875399
  • 9781101875391
  • 2,103,799

Review quote

"[Thomson] reveal[s] not only what films have meant to him, but what the watching of them, and the ultimate harvesting of them in our memories, means to all of us... Thomson is that rare critic who wants you to have and to share your passions, and in How to Watch a Movie, he writes more of the experience of watching than in rating a film or excoriating the ambitions of anyone... Bewitching." The Millions "Richly informed... Thomson s prose makes you want to review what you ve already seen, and perhaps what you ve already studied." The Guardian "Highly readable and wickedly smart, this title will inspire both lay film fans and film students to watch more closely." Library Journal "[Thomson]'s encyclopedic knowledge of cinema history makes for some truly fascinating associations often in the space of a single poetic phrase... Thomson assuredly seeks to expose the magician's many secrets but only so we can all access a better appreciation of the wonder of film... An enjoyably deep dive into the interaction between cinema and psyche." Kirkus Thoughtfully pondered and poetically covered The book s coverage is fascinating, wide ranging (from art to critics), and immensely knowledgeable Readers ranging from filmmakers to movie buffs will learn much here. Booklist "show more

About David Thomson

DAVID THOMSON has written about film for The Guardian, The Independent, The New York Times, The New Republic, Salon, Movieline, Film Comment, and Sight & Sound. He is the author of more than thirty books on film, including The New Biographical Dictionary of Film, Rosebud: The Story of Orson Welles, and The Whole Equation: A History of Hollywood. He lives in San more