The New Biographical Dictionary of Film: Expanded and Updated
For almost thirty years, David Thomson’s Biographical Dictionary of Film has been not merely “the finest reference book ever written about movies” (Graham Fuller, Interview), not merely the “desert island book” of art critic David Sylvester, not merely “a great, crazy masterpiece” (Geoff Dyer, The Guardian), but also “fiendishly seductive” (Greil Marcus, Rolling Stone).
This new edition updates the older entries and adds 30 new ones: Darren Aronofsky, Emmanuelle Beart, Jerry Bruckheimer, Larry Clark, Jennifer Connelly, Chris Cooper, Sofia Coppola, Alfonso Cuaron, Richard Curtis, Sir Richard Eyre, Sir Michael Gambon, Christopher Guest, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Spike Jonze, Wong Kar-Wai, Laura Linney, Tobey Maguire, Michael Moore, Samantha Morton, Mike Myers, Christopher Nolan, Dennis Price, Adam Sandler, Kevin Smith, Kiefer Sutherland, Charlize Theron, Larry Wachowski and Andy Wachowski, Lew Wasserman, Naomi Watts, and Ray Winstone.
In all, the book includes more than 1300 entries, some of them just a pungent paragraph, some of them several thousand words long. In addition to the new “musts,” Thomson has added key figures from film history–lively anatomies of Graham Greene, Eddie Cantor, Pauline Kael, Abbott and Costello, Noël Coward, Hoagy Carmichael, Dorothy Gish, Rin Tin Tin, and more.
Here is a great, rare book, one that encompasses the chaos of art, entertainment, money, vulgarity, and nonsense that we call the movies. Personal, opinionated, funny, daring, provocative, and passionate, it is the one book that every filmmaker and film buff must own. Time Out named it one of the ten best books of the 1990s. Gavin Lambert recognized it as “a work of imagination in its own right.” Now better than ever–a masterwork by the man playwright David Hare called “the most stimulating and thoughtful film critic now writing.”
From the Trade Paperback edition.
What people are saying - Write a review
A biographical dictionary of filmUser Review - Book Verdict
The latest edition of Thomson's guide contains 1000 entries on leading international directors, actors, and producers, living and dead, including 200 entries added since the publication of the second edition in 1981. A critic for Film Comment and Movieline, among other venues, Thomson balances often acidic critiques with brief biographical data, giving the reader an opportunity to pause for reflection. Coverage is relatively broad, ranging from Federico Fellini to James Coburn, thus giving the casual browser a feel for the breadth of cinema. A few significant personalities (e.g., James Spader) could have replaced others (e.g., Molly Ringwald) of lesser merit, but that is a quibble. Unique in size and scope, Thomson's work is a fitting companion to Halliwell's Filmgoer's and Video Viewer's Companion (HarperPerennial, 1993. 10th ed.). An excellent, highly recommended compact sourcebook for all film collections.-Anthony J. Adam, Prairie View A&M Univ. Tex.
Review: A Biographical Dictionary Of FilmUser Review - Goodreads
enjoyable summaries of filmstars/directors by an opinionated and interesting guide who you may or may not agree with.