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What Is Cinema? [2-volume set] by André…
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What Is Cinema? [2-volume set] (1958)

by André Bazin

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The best aspect of this collection is the evident pleasure Bazin takes in viewing and analyzing the cinema. His delight in the medium shines through in the essays and he never fails to recognize the enjoyment to be found in movie watching. Particular highlights are the essays "The Myth of Total Cinema" "The Virtues and Limitations of Montage" and "Charlie Chaplin" (a lovely reflection on Chaplin's brilliance). That said, many of Bazin's concerns and examples are pretty dated and may not be of much use to the modern reader (I consider myself fairly well-watched but was unfamiliar with many of the films he mentions). Luckily, Bazin does manage to impart a degree of universality to many of his arguments, even if they derive from specific (and now fairly obscure) films. Worth reading. ( )
  Matthew.Ducmanas | Mar 18, 2016 |
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