Basil Wright, one of England's oldest and most talented documentary
film makers has written an intrepid, highly personal, panoramic
study of the movies. His pages burst with enthusiasm, memories of
primitive beginnings, happy days at the Vitagraph. Both a fan and a
professional, he apologizes to no one, is not afraid to say "and
the tears come to your eyes," to call Rebecca Hitchcock's "best
film," to wax eloquent over such kitsch as Drums Along the Mohawk,
to toss up strange, beguiling analyses of product that must seem
obscure to even the buffs who haunt the local cinematheque. Wright
calls his bright baggy monster of a book "the record of a love
affair with the film medium which began in 1913." It is, in a
sense, ids autobiography. And that's what's so ingratiating: we
don't hear the computer-hum of the academic but the distinct sound
of an actual human voice, sharing with us his idiosyncratic
pleasures and displeasures. And when the animadversions become too
much, as they do with Bergman and Antonioni, silence reigns. These
are directors Wright simply does not "understand." Elsewhere,
though, his discussions of Eisenstein and Dovshenko, Olmi and
Resnais, Bresson and Dreyer could not be bettered. Wright has an
eye for design and composition, a feeling for flow and rhythm,
story and characterization; he is aware, as so many other
historians are not, of how much emotion can be generated between
the frames of even the slightest opus. His canvas is large, full of
facts and figures, cross-references and cross-theorizing - and
always alive. (Kirkus Reviews)
Martin Secker & Warburg Ltd
|Country of origin:
||250 x 160mm (L x W)
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