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The Great Movies
by Roger Ebert
Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0767910389, Paperback)If Pauline Kael popularized “movie love,” Roger Ebert is the eloquent Valentino of cinephiles. This invaluable volume gathers 100 of the Pulitzer winner's mini-essays composed since 1997, revised and updated, to form a love letter that could only spring from decades of devotion. A feat of superlative analysis, historical reflection, personal diary, and journalistic odyssey, The Great Movies combines an accessible style with an academic’s precision. Accompanied by photos perfectly chosen by Museum of Modern Art film stills archivist Mary Corliss, the 100 films are irrefutably worthy of inclusion, allowing room for debate (John Ford’s My Darling Clementine is in, The Searchers is not--arguably a wise decision) while placing each film into its own undeniable context of superiority. Admirably, Ebert recognizes that no critic writes in a vacuum; he dedicates the book to eight master critics hailed as “teachers,” quotes many of his contemporaries, and carries on the debate with Kael’s lingering spirit (Ebert counters her on Body Heat, praises her on Nashville). His appreciation of E.T. is written as a letter to beloved children in his life, and the entire book breathes with an awareness of legacy--the cinema’s and Ebert’s own--that underlies the sobering theme of his introduction. We need these movies (and this book) to remind us that movies can be so much better than they typically are. --Jeff Shannon
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:41 -0400)
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