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Search tags: history-of-movies
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review 2018-04-23 17:14
Insights into a cinephile
Nixon at the Movies: A Book about Belief - Mark Feeney

Mark Feeney's book is a difficult work to describe. At its core it provides its readers with an analysis of Richard Nixon's cinephilia, the consequences of which Feeney gleans in order to explain various aspects of Nixon's psychology. This he does in a series of interconnected chapter-length essays, the majority of which are built around a particular film Nixon watched during his time as president. Feeney uses his examination of these movies as a springboard for an extended exploration into specific aspects of Nixon's life and career, such as his relationship with Ronald Reagan or his time in Congress. Drawing upon his background as a film critic, he weaves together his examination into a study of the films themselves and their related works, which he breaks down not just to draw out the elements that relate to Nixon's life but to illuminate the America in which he lived.

The result is an engrossing read. Though Feeney provides no new details about Nixon's life or his time in office, he draws out connections that deepen our understanding of the man and provide some interesting interpretations of his character. It also has the effect of humanizing the 37th president in a way that that few other books have before, showing how, at his core, Nixon was a person who enjoyed losing himself in movies as much as anyone else. While this is not the first book people should seek out to learn about Richard Nixon, the originality of Feeney's approach and the insights it provides make it one that nobody seeking to make sense of the man can afford to neglect.

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review 2017-01-30 12:23
Behind the scenes of B-movie's silver age
It Came from the 80s! Interviews with 124 Cult Filmmakers - Francesco Borseti

If the 1950s and 1960s were the golden era of the exploitationist "B-movie," the 1980s was its silver age. Thanks to the growth of both cable television and home VHS players, low-budget productions had new outlets for their films, and producers leaped at the opportunities that they provided. While many of these movies were forgettable, some have attracted followings by those who enjoy their charms or for whom the films are a nostalgic artifact of their lives back then.

 

It is this audience to whom Francesco Borseti's book is directed. It is a collection of interviews with the men and women involved in making 28 English-language films from the decade. The interviewees are a range of people from writers and directors to actors and technical personnel. The main criteria for their inclusion seems to be a willingness to speak with Borseti about their memories of working on the film, which offers a unique glimpse into the process of creating a B-movie back then. While the eclectic nature of interviewees and their responses (some of which tend more towards self-promotion than recollection) doesn't provide a systematic account of their production, fans of these films will find this an entertaining glimpse behind the scenes of the movies they enjoy.

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text 2014-10-05 18:13
October Book a Day #5: Inspired by the Movies
Past Imperfect: History According to the Movies (Henry Holt Reference Book) - Mark C. Carnes,David Rubel,Ted Mico,John Miller-Monzon

This is experts in their field - mostly history - taking on movies that take on history.  The movies get mixed grades.

 

Highlights for me include Steven Jay Gould on Jurassic Park, the review of Last of the Mohicans (complete with Soap Opera Digest-style plot summary), and the review that concludes with the thought that all movies about Wyatt Earp are historically incorrect (so watch the John Ford movie, because it's a stone cold classic).

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review 2008-11-16 00:00
Robin Of The Movies - David Turner,Malco... Robin Of The Movies - David Turner,Malcolm Baker Robin of the Movies presents an overview of Robin Hood in film up until 1990. If you liked Robin of Sherwood, this books includes details about what the unfilmed series end would have looked like.
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