'Have You Seen...?': a Personal Introduction to 1,000 Films including masterpieces, oddities and guilty pleasures (with just a few disasters)

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Penguin Books Limited, Sep 25, 2008 - Performing Arts - 1024 pages
2 Reviews

This is possibly the most entertaining, surprising and enjoyable film book ever written. Thomson set himself the near-foolhardy task of writing one page each on 1000 of the films that he has particularly liked – or in some cases, abhorred. Some half-million words of funny, vigorous, wayward prose later, we are all the happy beneficiaries of his deranged labour.

Always unexpected, never repetitive, ‘Have You Seen...?’ can be read consecutively – from Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein to Zabriskie Point – or dipped into over many years, and it is a masterclass in how to write about films and how to love them. Sometimes Thomson will be interested in the director, sometimes in the culture that made such a film possible at such a time, sometimes in the stars (always in the stars, to be honest), and sometimes even in the outrageous cynicism and corruption of most financial backers.

‘Have You Seen...?’ is crammed with great love stories, westerns, musicals, war stories, comedies, and dramas. It is as in awe of film noir as of silent farce, and adores Hollywood but also favours British, Japanese and European cinema: camp disasters, kitsch and pretention hold no fears. If Thomson has a bottom line it is his incredulity that so much that is so enjoyable and moving and worthwhile was ever made at all – and that thanks to DVD we can now watch it forever. ‘Have You Seen...?’ will redirect how you spend your evenings for the rest of your life – for the better.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - MHelm1017 - LibraryThing

Some comments were a bit too abstruse for my understanding, and I cannot say I appreciated the dismissive descriptions of some of my old favorites, but these brief essays on movies were always intriguing and have given me many more videos and DVD's that I must track down. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - sanddancer - LibraryThing

A great book to dip into, it contains 1000 essays by David Thomson. As the subtitle suggest, the reviews are very much his personal opinions and impressions of the films, rather than objective reviews ... Read full review

About the author (2008)

David Thomson is, among many other things, author of The New Biographical Dictionary of Film, now in its fourth edition. His recent books include a biography of Nicole Kidman, Fan Tan (a novel written in collaboration with Marlon Brando) and The Whole Equation: A History of Hollywood. Born in London, he now lives in San Francisco.

A very personal and hugely entertaining look at the greatest films ever made, David Thomson's Have You Seen... offers some of the most moving, perceptive and ridiculous precis of films ever to be put to paper. From being in raptures over Anatahan and utterly nauseated by The Sound of Music, Thomson's witty and informed look at over 1,000 films is the ideal companion to the silver screen.

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