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The New Biographical Dictionary of Film

Sixth Edition

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Paperback published by Knopf (Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group)

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About This Book
With more than 100 new entries, from Amy Adams, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Cary Joji Fukunaga to Joaquin Phoenix, Mia Wasikowska, and Robin Wright, and completely updated,  here from David Thomson—“The greatest living writer on the movies” (John Banville, New Statesman); “Our most argumentative and trustworthy historian of the screen” (Michael Ondaatje)—is the latest edition of The New Biographical Dictionary of Film, which topped Sight & Sound’s poll of international critics and writers as THE BEST FILM BOOK EVER WRITTEN.
3/7
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With more than 100 new entries, from Amy Adams, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Cary Joji Fukunaga to Joaquin Phoenix, Mia Wasikowska, and Robin Wright, and completely updated,  here from David Thomson—“The greatest living writer on the movies” (John Banville, New Statesman); “Our most argumentative and trustworthy historian of the screen” (Michael Ondaatje)—is the latest edition of The New Biographical Dictionary of Film, which topped Sight & Sound’s poll of international critics and writers as THE BEST FILM BOOK EVER WRITTEN.
3/7
Product Details
Paperback (1168 pages)
Published: May 6, 2014
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Imprint: Knopf
ISBN: 9780375711848
Other books byDavid Thomson
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    The Moment of Psycho

    The Moment of Psycho
    How Alfred Hitchcock Taught America to Love Murder
    It was made like a television movie, and completed in less than three months. It killed off its star in forty minutes. There was no happy ending. And it offered the most violent scene to date in American film, punctuated by shrieking strings that seared the national consciousness. Nothing like Psycho had existed before; the movie industry—even America itself—would never be the same. In The Moment of Psycho, film critic David Thomson situates Psycho in Alfred Hitchcock’s career, recreating the mood and time when the seminal film erupted onto film screens worldwide. Thomson shows that Psycho was not just a sensation in film: it altered the very nature of our desires. Sex, violence, and horror took on new life. Psycho, all of a sudden, represented all America wanted from a film—and, as Thomson brilliantly demonstrates, still does.

    Suspects

    Suspects
    Noah Cross, Norma Desmond, Norman Bates, Harry Lime—these are a few of nearly 100 names that inhabit the mind of the narrator as he starts to compose short biographies of some of the most famous characters in the history of film noir. He sketches in whole lives, lives as intense as the dreams put up on the screen. The book begins to become a novel when the characters start to meet each other outside their respective films—as if they were real people with needs and passions. The names and faces are familiar to us—Jake Gittes from Chinatown, Laura Hunt and Waldo Lydecker from Laura, Rick and Ilsa from Casablanca—but is it true that Noah Cross and Norma Desmond were lovers in the 1920s, that she and Joe Gillis had a son who grew up to be Julian Kay in American Gigolo? The narrator is not merely the author, he has a mission to carry out—a lost family link to find, a thread to pull so that nearly all these disparate characters come together to form a kind of society. Ultimately this examination on how movies affect audiences—not only shaping perceptions and memories, but in some ways coming to stand in for them—can also be read as an unsettling examination of identity and the construction of self through the medium of narratives; or simply as a fascinating take on movie fandom.

    Nicole Kidman

    Nicole Kidman
    From the brilliant film historian and critic David Thomson, a book that reinvents the star biography in a singularly illuminating portrait of Nicole Kidman—and what it means to be a top actress today. At once life story, love letter, and critical analysis, this is not merely a book about who Kidman is but about what she is—in our culture and in our minds, on- and offscreen. Tall, Australian, one of the striking beauties of the world, Nicole Kidman is that rare modern phenomenon—an authentic movie star who is as happy and as creative throwing a seductive gaze from some magazine cover as she is being Virginia Woolf in The Hours. Here is the story of how this actress began her career, has grown through her roles, taken risks, made good choices and bad, and worried about money, aging, and image. Here are the details of an actress’s life: her performances in To Die For, The Portrait of a Lady, Eyes Wide Shut, Moulin Rouge!, The Hours, and Birth, among other films; her high-visibility marriage to Tom Cruise; her intense working relationship with Stanley Kubrick and her collaborations with Anthony Minghella and Baz Luhrmann; her work with Jude Law, Anthony Hopkins, Renée Zellweger, and John Malkovich; her decisions concerning nudity, endorsements, and publicity. And here are Thomson’s scintillating considerations of what celebrity means in the life of an actress like Kidman; of how the screen becomes both barrier and open sesame for her and for her audience; of what is required today of an actress of Kidman’s stature if she is to remain vital to the industry and to the audiences who made her a prime celebrity. Impassioned, opinionated, dazzlingly original in its approach and ideas, Nicole Kidman is as alluring and as much fun as Nicole Kidman herself, and David Thomson’s most remarkable book yet. From the Hardcover edition.

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