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David Thomson (1914-1988) was born in India of Scottish parents. After returning to Britain, he sustained an eye injury when aged eleven. This made school impossible for him until the age of fourteen and impaired his vision for the rest of his life. He was sent to stay with his grandmother in Nairn, and taught by private tutors. During and after university, Thomson took tutoring jobs, staying with one family in Ireland for almost ten years. These Scottish and Irish experiences were explicitly translated into his writing, most particularly in Nairn in Darkness and Light (1987), and Woodbrook (1974). From 1943 Thomson spent twenty-six years working for the BBC as a writer and producer of radio documentaries, writing many distinguished programmes. His love of the natural world, rural communities and oral traditions came together in the unforgettable style of The People of the Sea, his first book. He met his wife in 1952, whilst working for UNESCO, and continued to write fiction, children's fiction and non-fiction until his death.
In an extraordinary exercise of historical reconstruction, David Thomson travels through the Hebrides and the west coast of Ireland, telling stories, centuries old, of the 'selchie' or grey Atlantic seal. His fascinating legends - narrative, lyrical and dramatic - explore love, loss, return and rescue, documenting a culture on the verge of dissolution. With an introduction by Seamus Heaney who says: 'The People of the Sea survives not as a period piece but as a poetic achievement ... readers will be carried away on successive waves of pleasure ... these stories have an irresistible holistic beauty.'
With more than one hundred new entries, from Amy Adams, Benedict Cumberbatch and Cary Joji Fukunaga to Joaquin Phoenix, Mia Wasikowska and Robin Wright, and completely updated, here from David Thomson - 'The greatest living writer on the movies' (John Banville, New Statesman); 'Our most argumentative and trustworthy historian of the screen' (Michael Ondaatje) - is the latest edition of The New Biographical Dictionary of Film, which topped Sight & Sound's poll of international critics and writers as THE BEST FILM BOOK EVER WRITTEN.
In the first fully illustrated work of his illustrious career, David Thomson re-examines a series of moments - which readers will experience in beautifully reproduced imagery - from seventy-two carefully selected films across a hundred-year time span. His moments range from a set of Eadward Muybridge's pioneering photographs to sequences in films from the classic - Citizen Kane , Sunset Boulevard and The Red Shoes - to the unexpected - The Piano Teacher , Burn After Reading - immersing the reader via a groundbreaking marriage of imagery and the author's accompanying narrative. David Thomson's evocative, unflinching prose and profound understanding of what makes film and art form identify him as one of the great film writers of our time, making it likely that Moments that Made the Movies will be widely viewed as an important classic on the subject of international cinema.
In this triumphant work David Thomson, one of film's greatest living experts and author of The New Biographical Dictionary of Film, tells the enthralling story of the movies and how they have shaped us. Sunday Times, New Statesman, The Times, Guardian, Observer and Independent BOOKS OF THE YEAR Taking us around the globe, through time and across multiple media, Thomson tracks the ways in which we were initially enchanted by this mesmerizing imitation of life and let movies - the stories, the stars, the look - show us how to live. But at the same time he shows us how movies, offering a seductive escape from the everyday reality and its responsibilities, have made it possible for us to evade life altogether. The entranced audience has become a model for powerless citizens trying to pursue happiness by sitting quietly in a dark room. Does the big screen take us out into the world, or merely mesmerize us? That is Thomson's question in this great adventure of a book. A passionate feat of storytelling that is vital to anyone trying to make sense of the age of screens - the age that, more than ever, we are living in.
It was made like a television movie, and completed in less than three months. It killed off its star in forty minutes. There was no happy ending. And it offered the most violent scene to date in American film, punctuated by shrieking strings that seared the national consciousness. Nothing like Psycho had existed before the movie industry- even America itself- would never be the same. In The Moment of Psycho , film critic David Thomson situates Psycho in Alfred Hitchcock's career, recreating the mood and time when the seminal film erupted onto film screens worldwide. Thomson shows that Psycho was not just a sensation in film: it altered the very nature of our desires. Sex, violence, and horror took on new life. Psycho , all of a sudden, represented all America wanted from a film- and, as Thomson brilliantly demonstrates, still does.
David Thomson's 'Have You Seen?' - A Personal Introduction to 1,000 Films is a quirky, idiosyncratic and hugely entertaining look at a century of cinema. This is veteran film writer David Thomson's personal, irreverent, hilarious and utterly original take on the 1,000 films he has most loved - and hated - from Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein to Zabriskie Point, from esteemed classics to forgotten curiosities, guilty pleasures to noir treats, horror gems to kitsch disasters. The result is probably the most enjoyable film book you will ever read (and you'll never think about The Sound of Music in the same way again). 'Delightful ... it's like having the most film-literate pal you can imagine sitting beside you in a multiplex' Independent 'A joy ... he's incapable of writing a boring sentence' Evening Standard Books of the Year 'This book sets the bar. There isn't a more intelligent, insightful and provocative guide to individual movies in the world' Financial Times 'Every reader's simple instinct will be to plunge into the heart of it' Sunday Times 'A dazzlingly authoritative treat ... crammed with insight and epigram' Observer 'Eccentric, brilliant, scholarly, perverse, witty, egocentric and infuriating, sometimes all at once' Philip French 'He enrages, exasperates, but never leaves one indifferent' The Times Books of the Year David Thomson is, among many other things, author of The New Biographical Dictionary of Film, now in its fourth edition. His recent books include a biography of Nicole Kidman, Fan Tan (a novel written in collaboration with Marlon Brando) and The Whole Equation: A History of Hollywood.
It was made like a television movie, and completed in less than three months. It killed off its star in forty minutes. There was no happy ending. And it offered the most violent scene to date in American film, punctuated by shrieking strings that seared the national consciousness. Nothing like Psycho had existed before; the movie industryeven America itselfwould never be the same.In The Moment of Psycho, film critic David Thomson situates Psycho in Alfred Hitchcock's career, recreating the mood and time when the seminal film erupted onto film screens worldwide. Thomson shows that Psycho was not just a sensation in film: it altered the very nature of our desires. Sex, violence, and horror took on new life. Psycho, all of a sudden, represented all America wanted from a filmand, as Thomson brilliantly demonstrates, still does.
Nicole Kidman, Oscar winner, is more than a movie star. She is the leading female celebrity icon of our age, her face and body appear in the media the world over, and she often commands a salary of over 10 million dollars a picture. However, there is something mysterious and not quite settled about her, which is why David Thomson, one of the world's greatest film critics, knew he had to write about her. Whilst there may (just) be more attractive women on the screen, none has such a talent for transforming herself. This is a biography of a curly-red-haired girl from Australia who has become a world-famous actress. It is a searching treatment of the acting and business career, and a tribute by an admirer to a woman who has it in her to move millions of strangers.
A book that sees Hollywood as an idea, a trick, a religion even that swept the world, a book that knows what the bosses did, and why and how, but which also feels the impact on the mass audiences in the dark auditoriums. There isn't a book that explains - even at a basic level - how the business, the money, of pictures operates. THE WHOLE EQUATION takes the history and describes the grand panorama so that the reader knows how he or she fitted in, along with Bogart, the Marx Brothers and Daryl Zanuck. The business is the neglected aspect of the story, neglected because its truths threaten the alleged magic, the romance of the movies. Yet, the money is the true sexual secret of Hollywood, and David Thomson leaves the reader quite clear, that amid all the hype and pretension, we should always 'follow the money'.
This pocket book details many different aspects of the Alien films - the different directors, the making of the films, the themes, the actors, the tensions on the set, indeed everything anyone could possibly want to know about them.
Rosebud is a riveting and powerful portrait of the rise and fall of one of Hollywood's greatest innovators - the man who brought us Citizen Kane and then lost himself to obesity, small talk and conjuring tricks on daytime television. With humour, pace and the twists of a mystery story, acclaimed film critic and writer David Thomson probes the essential questions surrounding Welles, exploring the ferocious energy and demonic intellect behind the boy genius. Challenging, idiosyncratic, compelling: Rosebud understands Welles as no other study has, and in a way that leaves the reader breathless, amused and deeply moved by the wonder that was once Orson.