Who You're Reading

A young twentysomething who thinks they know something about film, who has aspirations to make films, but also loves to write, and has a lot of opinions, so what better thing to do than write about films online?

I make no claim to a distinction between movies, motion-pictures, films, pictures, or any other terminology you can cite.

The first film criticism I ever really read, and fell in love with, was that of Roger Ebert's, none-too-surprisingly. However, through the years, I have added to that list of one the writings of Richard Brody (The New Yorker), Susan Sontag, A.O. Scott (New York Times), André Bazin, and James Agee. Zadie Smith, too, although she tends to write much less frequently on film (although no less richly for it).

Of course, I do read the writings that the Criterion Collection so wonderfully assembles for their editions. And, last but not least, the Birth.Death.Movies. contributor Film Crit Hulk, who writes more dedicatedly and eloquently on the ways of storytelling and narrative than, I would argue, anyone else outside of academia (by which I mean, really, David Bordwell).

Whenever a filmmaker is inclined to write, such as Martin Scorsese sometimes is (especially through TCM), I greatly enjoy reading them as well.

The collection of writings by Alexander MacKendrick On Filmmaking remains for me the quintessential book on the creative side of the art form.

As far as academic scholarship, David Bordwell, I think, stands peerless. His book Ozu and the Poetics of Cinema is masterful, and is available free on his website for download, so there's no excuse. Imogen Sara Smith is one of my favorites writers, and I think that William Paul's book Ernst Lubitsch's American Comedy is no less than luminously brilliant. Alexander Nemerov's Images of Grief: Val Lewton's Home Front Pictures has also proven quite influential on me.

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