Reading About the Big Screen

Nov. 28, 2013
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When I want to read about film, I’ll read anything handy by David Thomson. His books are bulky, hard to miss on any shelf for their heft, highly opinionated and usually good for a little serendipity. Open any page of "Have You Seen": A Personal Introduction to 1,000 Films or The New Biographical Dictionary of Film and you'll find a keen mind at work—whether or not you agree with the conclusions. Just out in paperback is The Big Screen: The Story of the Movies (Farrar, Straus & Giroux), a history of motion pictures from magic lanterns through smartphones that wonders: does a screen conceal or reveal? The Big Screen is a brilliant, cogent extended essay on the meaning of a medium that has proven much wider than celluloid strips running through projectors.

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