Tuesday, 17 November 2015

The Movie Book

The Movie Book
The Movie Book (not to be confused with The Movie Book from Phaidon) is a guide to more than 200 classic and influential films, the latest in DK's Big Ideas Simply Explained series: "The movies gathered here are those that the authors feel... to have had the most seismic impact on both cinema and the world." The films selected are "an atlas of influence, a collection of landmarks" and represent "an attempt to build a narrative of film history out of the movies themselves".

The book was written by a team of authors (Louis Baxter, John Farndon, Kieran Grant, and Damon Wise), led by Danny Leigh. 116 films are included, cross-referenced and arranged chronologically, and entries range from a single page to six pages per film. There is extensive coverage of international cinema, with Latin American films especially well represented. Most directors are limited to single entries in the main list, though Stanley Kubrick, Billy Wilder, Victor Fleming, Ridley Scott, and Fritz Lang each have two films included.

Most entries include brief director profiles, infographics (some more informative than others), and plot timelines (which contain spoilers). Perhaps the best entry is that for Pulp Fiction, which includes a double-page spread with a quote and film still, a full-page poster, and a useful infographic that presents its non-linear narrative chronologically.

Following the 116 main entries, there is an appendix of eighty-eight extra films: "a selection of the movies that came close to being included in the main section, but did not quite make the final cut." This makes a total of 204 titles, though there are a few odd omissions: Man With A Movie Camera and On The Waterfront are not included, there are no 1930s gangster films, musicals and westerns are under-represented, there is only one Spaghetti western (Once Upon A Time In The West, in the appendix), and most Noir films are relegated to the appendix.

The 116 main entries are as follows:
  • A Trip To The Moon
  • Intolerance
  • The Cabinet Of Dr Caligari
  • Battleship Potemkin
  • Sunrise
  • Metropolis
  • Steamboat Bill Jr
  • The Passion Of Joan Of Arc
  • The Blue Angel
  • People On Sunday
  • City Lights
  • M
  • Duck Soup
  • King Kong
  • Zero For Conduct
  • The Bride Of Frankenstein
  • Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs
  • The Wizard Of Oz
  • The Rules Of The Game
  • Gone With The Wind
  • His Girl Friday
  • Citizen Kane
  • Casablanca
  • To Be Or Not To Be
  • Ossessione
  • Laura
  • Children Of Paradise
  • La Belle & La Bete
  • A Matter Of Life & Death
  • It's A Wonderful Life
  • Bicycle Thieves
  • Kind Hearts & Coronets
  • The Third Man
  • Rashomon
  • Sunset Boulevard
  • A Streetcar Named Desire
  • The Night Of The Hunter
  • Singin' In The Rain
  • Tokyo Story
  • The Wages Of Fear
  • Godzilla
  • All That Heaven Allows
  • Rebel Without A Cause
  • Pather Panchali
  • Kiss Me Deadly
  • The Searchers
  • The Seventh Seal
  • Vertigo
  • Ashes & Diamonds
  • Some Like It Hot
  • The 400 Blows
  • La Dolce Vita
  • Breathless
  • Saturday Night & Sunday Morning
  • Last Year At Marienbad
  • La Jetee
  • The Umbrellas Of Cherbourg
  • Black God, White Devil
  • Dr Strangelove
  • The Sound Of Music
  • The Battle Of Algiers
  • The Chelsea Girls
  • Playtime
  • Bonnie & Clyde
  • 2001: A Space Odyssey
  • The Wild Bunch
  • Easy Rider
  • La Boucher
  • The Godfather
  • Aguirre: The Wrath Of God
  • The Discreet Charm Of The Bourgeoisie
  • Don't Look Now
  • The Spirit Of The Beehive
  • Chinatown
  • Ali: Fear Eats The Soul
  • Jaws
  • Picnic At Hanging Rock
  • Taxi Driver
  • Annie Hall
  • Star Wars IV: A New Hope
  • Alien
  • Stalker
  • Das Boot
  • Blade Runner
  • BLue Velvet
  • Wings Of Desire
  • Women On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown
  • Sex Lies & Videotape
  • Do The Right Thing
  • Raise The Red Lantern
  • Pulp Fiction
  • Three Colours: Red
  • The Shawshank Redemption
  • Toy Story
  • La Haine
  • Fargo
  • The Sweet Hereafter
  • Central Station
  • Festen
  • The Ring
  • Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
  • Spirited Away
  • Amelie
  • Lagaan
  • The Lord Of The Rings I: The Fellowship Of The Ring
  • City Of God
  • Oldboy
  • The Lives Of Others
  • Pan's Labyrinth
  • Slumdog Millionaire
  • The Hurt Locker
  • Man On Wire
  • The White Ribbon
  • Once Upon A Time In Anatolia
  • Gravity
  • Boyhood
The appendix of eighty-eight films is as follows:
  • The Great Train Robbery
  • Nosferatu
  • Dr Mabuse The Gambler
  • The Jazz Singer
  • Un Chien Andalou
  • Freaks
  • The Grapes Of Wrath
  • The Maltese Falcon
  • Sullivan's Travels
  • Meshes Of The Afternoon
  • Double Indemnity
  • Brief Encounter
  • Murders Among Us
  • Out Of The Past
  • The Red Shoes
  • All About Eve
  • Los Olvidados
  • The Big Heat
  • La Strada
  • Seven Samurai
  • Rififi
  • Invasion Of The Body Snatchers
  • Touch Of Evil
  • Elevator To The Gallows
  • Peeping Tom
  • Psycho
  • West Side Story
  • The Innocents
  • Jules & Jim
  • The Manchurian Candidate
  • Dry Summer
  • Jason & The Argonauts
  • Onibaba
  • I Am Cuba
  • Closely Observed Trains
  • Persona
  • The Graduate
  • Belle De Jour
  • Rosemary's Baby
  • Salesman
  • Once Upon A Time In The West
  • Kes
  • Midnight Cowboy
  • A Clockwork Orange
  • Harold & Maude
  • Land Of Silence & Darkness
  • Walkabout
  • The Harder They Come
  • A Woman Under The Influence
  • Sholay
  • Xala
  • Eraserhead
  • Dawn Of The Dead
  • Days Of Heaven
  • Apocalypse Now
  • Raging Bull
  • The Shining
  • ET: The Extra-Terrestrial
  • Scarface
  • Blood Simple
  • Paris, Texas
  • Come & See
  • Brazil
  • Down By Law
  • Jesus Of Montreal
  • Hearts Of Darkness: A Film-Maker's Apocalypse
  • Hard Boiled
  • Reservoir Dogs
  • Naked
  • Short Cuts
  • Heavenly Creatures
  • Drifting Clouds
  • Breaking The Waves
  • Taste Of Cherry
  • Werckmeister Harmonies
  • Amores Perros
  • In The Mood For Love
  • Mulholland Drive
  • Goodbye, Lenin
  • Tsotsi
  • Cache
  • Times & Winds
  • Ten Canoes
  • There Will Be Blood
  • The Secret In Their Eyes
  • The Kid With A Bike
  • Holy Motors
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel
[Note that Some Like It Hot is the 1959 Billy Wilder classic, and Scarface is the 1983 remake.]

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