"[Thomson is] one of the finest film
critics in the English language."
--philip lopate, the new york times book review
If most film critics write about movies, David Thomson creates their literary counterpart with essays that are as dazzling, haunting, and moving as the pictures they discuss. In this bravura new collection, the Esquire columnist trains his eye on Hollywood's ghosts, exploring their tendency to rise from the grave or descend from the screen to intimately haunt our lives.
Thomson conjures up Jimmy Stewart in Vertigo, Jack Nicholson in Chinatown, and Cary Grant in any of the pictures where he makes every scene look like a lucky accident. With equal aplomb, he imagines a James Dean who survived the car crash and a post-Saturday Night Fever Tony Manero. We learn the "20 Things People Like to Forget About Hollywood" (Number 3: "You Are Their Playthings, Not the Other Way Around"). And on every page of Beneath Mulholland, we are educated, entertained, and enlarged by a book as savvy and incisive as any Hollywood reportage and as lyrical as the best fiction.
"Not just...one of our sharpest
writers-on-film, but...one of our
wisest and best writers, period."