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Best Film Essays/Analyses

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

It's a late night for this guy and I'm pouring my usual film websites over and over again wanting some iota of new substance to read. I inhale in film like a fat hipster inhales gluten-free brownies, so my appetite needs to be sated, especially when I have an internet addiction that makes me click over the same five sites every three minutes.

 

A great meal for learning (at least for me) is reading Film Crit Hulk's essays. I absolutely love and adore them, especially given the fact that he's doing it in a prose style that lets you know that, at the end of the day, movies are just movies. His screenwriting 101 spends more time on the theory of the craft, which is something that is sorely lacking in the classes I've taken.

 

But there are only so many pages of FCH. I need more. I know I should probably try some Pauline Kael, but what's a good starting point? Furthermore, what are your favorite film essays you've read?

post #2 of 14

It's not print, but this guy's got some great film analysis videos.  I was sick a few months ago and tore through them.  He does have some funny political views, though...

post #3 of 14
I know everyone loves Film Crit Hulk, and he has interesting things to say if he'd just drop THE ALL-CAPS SHTICK and keep his shit under a few thousand words.

I always recommend Outlaw Vern; like Joe Bob Briggs, his stuff is deceptively insightful. Erich Kuersten at his blog Acidemic is usually interesting.

Kael is essential.
post #4 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Blank View Post

I know everyone loves Film Crit Hulk, and he has interesting things to say if he'd just drop THE ALL-CAPS SHTICK and keep his shit under a few thousand words.
 

 

 

Cookie Monster commenting over at the AV Club does the schtick WAY better. 

post #5 of 14

John Simon: he's a elitist prick, but he makes you think. And Ebert.

post #6 of 14

David Thomson, particularly The Whole Equation.  I disagree with a lot, but it's always food for thought.

 

My favorite film book is Hitchcock/Truffaut, although that is more interview than criticism.

 

John Simon was whip smart, but off-putting.  Not just elitist in the worst ways, but sexist to boot.  Still, he's certainly worth reading.

post #7 of 14

Speaking of interviews, The Conversations, by Michael Ondaatje, which is a series of discussions with Walter Murch about his approach to film, and his process, is an amazing read.

 

Anyway, maybe not entirely what you're looking for, but those are usually my go to writings about film.

 

In terms of critics you can read o nthe web, I love Mr. Beaks (aka Jeremy Smith), and always enjoy Mike D'Angelo, though I frequently disagree with him.

post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chavez View Post

 

Cookie Monster commenting over at the AV Club does the schtick WAY better. 


Wait, what? I want to read this.

 

Also, I should check out John Simon. Is there a particular piece I should start with? What was your intro to him?

 

And anything that's long and FCHulk like is great. I'm looking for something to really sit down and read for a long time.

post #9 of 14

I read him mostly when he wrote for National Review.  The magazine used to be around my house as a teenager because of my dad and Simon's film reviews were about the only thing in it I would want to read.

post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenny Madison View Post


Wait, what? I want to read this.

 

 

He is one of their commenters. No ALL CAPS, never breaks schtick, usually makes good concise, points. 

post #11 of 14

I used to be a huge FCH fan but even I can't stand the all-caps schtick anymore.

post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bailey View Post

I read him mostly when he wrote for National Review.  The magazine used to be around my house as a teenager because of my dad and Simon's film reviews were about the only thing in it I would want to read.

 

 

Those essays (and more) are available in Amazon:

post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evi View Post

I used to be a huge FCH fan but even I can't stand the all-caps schtick anymore.

 

He's an EXTREMELY smart guy who clearly understands screenwriting and the process of constructing a story better than most. But the schtick definitely wears thin, and he needs an editor something fierce.

post #14 of 14

Thompson & Bordwell's "Observations On Film Art" blog is great, and always insightful, like this blog/video on constructive editing.

 

The video essays on Indiewire are uniformly terrific.

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