Castaways of the Image Planet by Geoffrey O'Brien
Movies, Show Business, Public Spectacle

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Synopsis

Sixteen years of film criticism from one of America's leading cultural critics.

Castaways of the Image Planet collects sixteen years' worth of Geoffrey O'Brien's essays on film and popular culture, most originally published in The New York Review of Books, The New Republic, Film Comment, Filmmaker, and the New York Times. The topics range from the invention of cinema to contemporary F-X aesthetics; from Shakespeare films to "Seinfeld"; from '30's screwball comedies to Hong Kong martial-arts movies; from the roots of sexploitation pictures to the televising of Bill Clinton's grand jury testimony. There is an emphasis on the unpredictable interactions between film as a medium apt for expressing the most private dreams and film as the mass literature of the modern world, subject to all the pressures of financing and marketing. Many of the pieces are profiles of individual directors or actors--Orson Welles, Michael Powell, Ed Wood, Marlon Brando, Alfred Hitchcock, Dana Andrews, The Marx Brothers, Bing Crosby--whose careers are probed to look for the point where private obsession meets public myth-making.

 

About Geoffrey O'Brien

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Geoffrey O'Brien is the editor-in-chief of The Library of America, and author of fifteen books, most recently The Fall of the House of Walworth, and other works including Hardboiled America, Dream Time, The Phantom Empire, The Times Square Story, The Browser's Ecstasy, Castaways of the Image Planet, and Sonata for Jukebox. He has contributed frequently to The New York Review of Books, Artforum, Film Comment, and other publications. He lives in New York City.
 
Published May 9, 2002 by Counterpoint. 256 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Humor & Entertainment, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

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A member of the generation that cut its teeth on classic sound films, he has the appropriate admiration for Hawks, Lang, Sturges, Michael Powell, and John Ford, to whom he ascribes the 20th century's greatest film, The Searchers, neatly praised not for its usual points but for its “world of cycli...

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