The subtitle to David Thomson's fine new book The Big Screen summarises the contents as "the story of the movies and what they did to us".
The subtitle to David Thomson's fine new book The Big Screen summarises the contents as \"the story of the movies and what they did to us\".
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Writer David Thomson talks sex, love, politics and the movies with Teddy Jamieson
It's the "what they did to us" that matters, I think.
That's not to say it doesn't deal with the former too. Thomson is quite simply the greatest living writer on cinema we have. Best known for his thrillingly and at times infuriatingly opinionated Biographical Dictionary of Cinema, he has spent the past 40 years or more writing about movies with a lancet eye. The Big Screen feels a bit like a greatest hits, almost. Here are Orson Welles, Jean Renoir, Howard Hawks, all caught in glittering prose. But it's also a book that invites us to cast Thomson as something of a former lover. Reading the book I pictured him as someone who is still half in love with the medium but who can now see all the flaws that love may have blinded him to in the past.
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