01 July 2024

The 12-Hour Film Expert:
Everything You Need to Know about Movies

The 12-Hour Film Expert

The 12-Hour Film Expert: Everything You Need to Know about Movies, by brothers Noah and James Charney, has a reductivist title, but the book itself is a reasonably detailed history of American cinema. On the other hand, foreign-language films are squeezed into a single chapter, which the writers admit—and demonstrate—“is well-nigh impossible to do”.

The book is organised into twelve chapters, each of which begins with a list of a few key films, “the most important ones to watch.” An appendix, The Movie Playlist, lists further genres and subgenres, each with twelve recommended films. At the end of the Playlist, the “rule of twelve” gives way to a list of directors from various countries outside the US, each represented by their best-known films.

There’s a general emphasis on more recent films, and there are some odd omissions: numerous genres, such as war, gangster films, period dramas, documentaries, and animation, are excluded. Stanley Kubrick’s films are conspicuously absent from any of the book’s lists.

These are the twelve chapters and their key films:

The Invention of the Movies —
  • A Trip to the Moon
  • The Great Train Robbery
The Golden Age of Silent Movies —
  • The Gold Rush
  • Sunrise
Classic Hollywood —
  • Casablanca
  • Citizen Kane
The Western —
  • Stagecoach
  • The Searchers
  • Red River
Film Noir —
  • Double Indemnity
  • Out of the Past
  • Touch of Evil
  • Chinatown
Comedy —
  • Bringing up Baby
  • Airplane!
  • When Harry Met Sally
Musicals —
  • Top Hat
  • Singin’ in the Rain
  • Moulin Rouge!
Suspense —
  • The Wages of Fear
  • The Birds
  • The Italian Job
Horror —
  • Cat People
  • Halloween
  • The Babadook
Action —
  • The Bourne Identity
  • Nobody
  • Run Lola Run
Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Superhero Films —
  • X-Men
  • Star Wars IV–VI
  • The Lord of the Rings I–III
  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
International Art House —
  • Bicycle Thieves
  • Seven Samurai
  • Nostalghia

1 comment(s):

Matthew Hunt said...

Roman & Littlefield: https://rowman.com/ISBN/9781538173428/The-12-Hour-Film-Expert-Everything-You-Need-to-Know-about-Movies

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