'Have You Seen . . .?': a Personal Introduction to 1,000 by David Thomson

By David Thomson

Multiple thousand pages within the voice of our such a lot provocative modern movie critic and historian—a beneficiant historical past of movie and an attractive severe appraisal written with as a lot humor and fervour as ancient knowledge.

Juxtaposing the fanciful and the excellent, the outdated favorites and the forgotten, this sweeping assortment provides the movies that Thomson bargains to reply to the query he will get requested so much often—“What may still I see?” now not content material to settle on in simple terms his personal best motion pictures, Thomson has created a listing that may shock and enjoyment you—and ship you on your DVD participant. yet he additionally probes the query: After 100 years of movie, which of them are the simplest, and why?

“Have You noticeable . . . ?” indicates a real canon of cinema and is a needs to for an individual who loves the silver display: definitely the right confection to dip into for a flavor of controversy, little-known evidence, and ideas approximately what to determine. You’ll are looking to go back to this quantity time and again, like a pricey yet argumentative pal at midnight on the video clips.

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Sample text

The Manchurian Candidate (1962) contrasted Korean communist brainwashing (which ingrained lies) to American-style “free dreams” and “free associations” (which told truths) and became the best comparative cinematic study of these themes. By 1905 the groundwork for the major directions in movies and the modern psyche was in place. Experiments in perceptual psychology were underway. Freudian dream theories were working their way around the world, even though Freud’s Interpretation of Dreams would not be translated into English until the next decade.

Many included dream scenes that reminded viewers of Freudian ideas about dreams. These films took on a life of their own in the United States. Over the decades, film noir turned into a favorite of film scholars. Film noir festivals appeared i n art houses in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. Film noir femme fatales set off a wave of Freudian-informed feminist film scholarship, which condemned directors for depicting evil, ensnaring women and claimed that such films encouraged misogyny (hatred of women) and reflected fears of women’s rising power.

Hollywood’s star was also rising. America was becoming the movie capital of the world, especially after the German depression of 1923 diverted funds from the UFA (the German national film company) and thereby shifted leverage to the American film industry. Freud declined the offer, insisting that “plastic representation” of psychoanalytic theory would not do his ideas justice. Although he did not say so, Freud was undoubtedly aware that early Hollywood did not have the social cachet it enjoys today.

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