BENEATH MULHOLLAND is a stunning collection of essays on Hollywood films - their stars and the illusions they create. David Thomson explores a sort of twilight zone where film actors and the characters they play become part of our reality - as living beings and as ghosts, residing on or buried beneath Mulholland Drive, or wandering among us. He writes about James Stewart in VERTIGO, Jack Nicholson in CHINATOWN, Cary Grant, Greta Garbo. He imagines what Tony Manero, as played by John Travolta in SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER, might have become in real life; what James Dean's career might have been like had he survived. He examines Hollywood's preoccupation with love, sex, death, money and glory. BENEATH MULHOLLAND immeasurably enlarges and enriches our already undying memories of, and pleasure in, the Hollywood movie.
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'It is a long while since I read with such unalloyed enjoyment a book about my profession. David Thomson deserves a lifetime achievement award for excellence in his chosen field' DAILY TELEGRAPH 'Where others merely described, Thomson has illuminated Orson Welles. A triumph.' Arthur Penn (Director, Bonnie & Clyde) 'For me, he is the greatest of today's film writers' J.G. Ballard, OBSERVER 'acerbic and savagely telling satires against the industry itself that really show Thomson at the height of his powers: when he unleashes cauldrons of bile upon modern Hollywood, it deserves every drop.' ESQUIRE 'he's stimulating and inspiring, an original who imputes more to movies than they probably deserve.' SCOTLAND ON SUNDAY 'heartily recommended.' IRELAND EVENING HERALD 'a blend of revelatory essays on familiar subjects and shadier topics... mixed with cunning fictions which may or may not be autobiographical... Whatever he turns his mind to, Thomson is on the money.' EMPIRE 'Thomson's writing is elegant, quirky, personal and packed with provocative, beguiling insights.' TIME OUT 'David Thomson is a leading film critic, and author of 14 previous books, including the highly praised A Biographical Dictionary of Film, and Rosebud: The Story of Orson Welles. Mulholland Drive, the famous road winding through Los Angeles, is Thomson's Rosebud, his symbol of film as mythological reality, aspiration and disenchantment, "the shambles of destroyed hope". A half-life between screen and dream, which traps both audience and stars, the latter dazzled by their own light. Here are 21 not- so-easy pieces, covering everything from Chinatown to The Sheltering Sky, the veniality of star power, the blurred line between audience and screen. Investigating money, crime, conspiracy, love and death, the prose is crisp, crackling with caustic epithets like a modern Dorothy Parker gone to Oz. Using essay and biography, mixing forms, lending voice to fictional recreations of real actors, a love of movies and of language is evident throughout. Thomson has an extraordinarily knowledge of the most obscure aspects of film, from which he draws startling connections and insights, presenting an almost hallucinatory vision of the inner life of the cinema. As much about Thomson as the film world it dissects, this mixture of new and revised reprints of magazine articles cover the gamut of Hollywood's recondite dreamscape with rare if caustic perception. Though the perspective is mordant, the focus is long and deep, re-imagining film writing as J.G. Ballard's The Atrocity Exhibition deconstructed celebrity.' Gary S. Dalkin, AMAZON.CO.UK REVIEW
About David Thomson
David Thomson was born in London in 1941 but has lived in America since 1975 where he was Director of Film Studies at Dartmouth College. As well as books on film he has written several novels.
Beneath Mulholland by David Thomson
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