By David Thomson
Thames & Hudson, $39.95, 303 pages
David Thomson’s Moments That Made the Movies gives a fascinating historical tour of the power of film and the effect of its flowing visual images. The book is not a definitive history of the movies, if such a thing is possible, and this book does not attempt to be one. However, one will get a great tour of some of movies most fascinating and memorable moments and images. There are also wonderful photographs that bring this big book and it’s cinematic story to life.
“I think they are very “movie” moments, doing something that could be managed in no other medium-the look, the pace, the movement, the texture, the context, all these things are vital. I can describe them, or I will try, but really you have to witness them and feel them.”
Thomson gives somewhat of a personal history with these films showing that one can have individual tastes about the movies. He champions certain films and actors without too many jibes. The movies and all of its players are vast and one can be solipsistic about it. The book does give one a sense of what it means to succeed and fail, but here it is shown that most cinematic attempts, especially now with DVDs and Videos, will not have failed with everyone. It tells a fascinating story and will also show how to have a sophisticated appreciation for the media and it’s arts. There is something here for everyone.
Reviewed by Ryder Miller