The New Biographical Dictionary of Film by David Thomson

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Synopsis

For almost thirty years, David Thomson’s Biographical Dictionary of Film has been not merely “the finest reference book ever written about movies” (Graham Fuller, Interview), not merely the “desert island book” of art critic David Sylvester, not merely “a great, crazy masterpiece” (Geoff Dyer, The Guardian), but also “fiendishly seductive” (Greil Marcus, Rolling Stone).

This new edition updates the older entries and adds 30 new ones: Darren Aronofsky, Emmanuelle Beart, Jerry Bruckheimer, Larry Clark, Jennifer Connelly, Chris Cooper, Sofia Coppola, Alfonso Cuaron, Richard Curtis, Sir Richard Eyre, Sir Michael Gambon, Christopher Guest, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Spike Jonze, Wong Kar-Wai, Laura Linney, Tobey Maguire, Michael Moore, Samantha Morton, Mike Myers, Christopher Nolan, Dennis Price, Adam Sandler, Kevin Smith, Kiefer Sutherland, Charlize Theron, Larry Wachowski and Andy Wachowski, Lew Wasserman, Naomi Watts, and Ray Winstone.

In all, the book includes more than 1300 entries, some of them just a pungent paragraph, some of them several thousand words long. In addition to the new “musts,” Thomson has added key figures from film history–lively anatomies of Graham Greene, Eddie Cantor, Pauline Kael, Abbott and Costello, Noël Coward, Hoagy Carmichael, Dorothy Gish, Rin Tin Tin, and more.

Here is a great, rare book, one that encompasses the chaos of art, entertainment, money, vulgarity, and nonsense that we call the movies. Personal, opinionated, funny, daring, provocative, and passionate, it is the one book that every filmmaker and film buff must own. Time Out named it one of the ten best books of the 1990s. Gavin Lambert recognized it as “a work of imagination in its own right.” Now better than ever–a masterwork by the man playwright David Hare called “the most stimulating and thoughtful film critic now writing.”
 

About David Thomson

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David Thomson, renowned as one of the great living authorities on the movies, is the author of The New Biographical Dictionary of Film, now in its fifth edition. His recent books include a biography of Nicole Kidman and The Whole Equation: A History of Hollywood. Thomson's latest work is the acclaimed "Have You Seen . . . ?": A Personal Introduction to 1,000 Films. Born in London in 1941, he now lives in San Francisco.
 
Published October 26, 2010 by Knopf. 1090 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Education & Reference, Humor & Entertainment. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The New Biographical Dictionary of Film

Publishers Weekly

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When this book was first published in 1975, it ignited arguments among many film buffs who disagreed with London-born critic Thomson's strongly opinionated summations. This latest upgrade—

Aug 05 2002 | Read Full Review of The New Biographical Dictiona...

The New York Times

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Brilliant flashes of insight and lovely writing sparkle through pages of gassy digressions in David Thomson's history of America in the time of movies.

Dec 19 2004 | Read Full Review of The New Biographical Dictiona...

The Guardian

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The New Biographical Dictionary of Film by David Thomson 963pp, Little Brown, £25 In a recent interview at the National Film Theatre, David Thomson was asked what it takes to be a film critic.

Dec 07 2002 | Read Full Review of The New Biographical Dictiona...

Publishers Weekly

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When this book was first published in 1975, it ignited arguments among many film buffs who disagreed with London-born critic Thomson's strongly opinionated summations.

| Read Full Review of The New Biographical Dictiona...

Entertainment Weekly

David Thomson admits that the most misleading word in the title of his latest revision of The New Biographical Dictionary of Film may be the -- an emendation from a, which christened the 1975, 1980, and 1994 editions.

Oct 25 2002 | Read Full Review of The New Biographical Dictiona...

Los Angeles Times

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The latest edition includes 139 new entries and a quandary about whether film history matters anymore.

Dec 02 2010 | Read Full Review of The New Biographical Dictiona...

The Telegraph

It leaps from the pages of this spruced up classic like flames from a bonfire – as indeed it has done in every previous incarnation of a book that made its first appearance, at one third the size, in 1975.

Dec 02 2010 | Read Full Review of The New Biographical Dictiona...

BookPage

Edited by George Ochoa and Melinda Corey, authors of more than 30 books on cinema, this wonderfully comprehensive volume includes the American Film Institute's list of the 100 Best Films of the Past 100 Years.

Oct 28 2015 | Read Full Review of The New Biographical Dictiona...

The New York Review of Books

Among his many awards are the National Book Award Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, the Lifetime Achievement Award of the National Book Critics Circle, and the Curtis Benjamin Award given by the American Association of Publishers for enriching the world of books.

Oct 27 2011 | Read Full Review of The New Biographical Dictiona...

The New York Review of Books

David Thomson, a British film critic and historian based in the United States, is the author of more than twenty books, including the prestigious reference works Have You Seen…?: A Personal Introduction to 1,000 Films and The New Biographical Dictionary of Film.

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The New York Review of Books

David Thomson, a British film critic and historian based in the United States, is the author of more than twenty books, including the prestigious reference works Have You Seen…?: A Personal Introduction to 1,000 Films and The New Biographical Dictionary of Film.

| Read Full Review of The New Biographical Dictiona...

Slant Magazine

For at least twenty years, Thomson must have heard that he needs to include Béla Tarr, but the maker of Sátántangó (1994) still has no entry, and no doubt Thomson has his reasons for that, yet Douglas McGrath squeezes into the dictionary (Thomson even writes favorably about McGrath's truly deplor...

Oct 25 2010 | Read Full Review of The New Biographical Dictiona...

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