Phantom Empire by Geoffrey O'Brien
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Phantom Empire
By Geoffrey O'Brien

The Phantom Empire

Movies in the Mind of the Twentieth Century

By (author) See other recent books by Geoffrey O'Brien
Format: Paperback

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Phantom Empire by Geoffrey O'Brien

Book Description

In his intense and mysterious evocation of (seemingly) every kind of movie ever made, Geoffrey O'Brien erases the distinction between spectator and commentator and virtually reinvents film writing in our time.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780393312966
ISBN-10: 0393312968
Format: Paperback
(211mm x 140mm x 17mm)
Pages: 288
Imprint: WW Norton & Co
Publisher: WW Norton & Co
Publish Date: 2-Jul-1997
Country of Publication: United States

Other Editions...

Books By Author Geoffrey O'Brien

Bartlett's Familiar Quotations by Geoffrey O'Brien Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, Hardback (November 2012)

Ten years in the making, the eighteenth edition of the longest-lived and bestselling collection of quotations in history introduces hundreds of new quotations from writers all over the world.

Bartlett's Poems for Occasions by Geoffrey O'Brien Bartlett's Poems for Occasions, Hardback (September 2004)

This title offers a collection of the world's greatest poems, organised for every occasion, public and private, from birth to death and everything in between.

Browser's Ecstasy by Geoffrey O'Brien Browser's Ecstasy, Paperback (March 2003)

A prose poem about reading, this is a playful, epigrammatic nocturne upon the dream-state one falls into when "lost in a book," and the uncanny, trance-like pleasure of making silent marks on paper utter sounds inside one's head.

» View all books by Geoffrey O'Brien


US Kirkus Review » Pop-culturist/spiritual autobiographer O'Brien (Dream Time, 1988; Hardboiled America, 1981) spins a brilliant, bullying monologue telling you Everything You Always Felt Was Happening Just Below The Surface Of The Movies. Like Michael Wood and David Thomson, O'Brien is convinced that he can generalize from his own experience of films (which seems heavier on German silents and Italian splatter flicks than on, say, Renoir's French films or anything since 1980) to a sense of "The Movies." Substituting a challenging rhetorical "you" for the more customary "we" ("the films get their hooks into you by propping up memory, or perhaps more accurately by substituting for memory"), O'Brien presents cinema as contemporary religion, history, and epistemology rolled into one. In chapters on the relation between realism and dream in the art film, on the coercive function of the director, on the western and the horror film, on TV as the ultimate recycler and trivializer of visual magic, he comes up with one gorgeous apercu after the next. On movies as Scripture: "Why settle for words when you could go see photographs of God?" In Fritz Lang's geometric films, "existence could be defined as what was demarcated by walls." Genres keep developing "as if everybody set out to make exactly the same movie...and failed in revealing ways. The failed imitation then became someone else's original." But the shower of epigrams has a price: Instead of developing a sustained argument from chapter to chapter, or even from paragraph to paragraph, O'Brien keeps reinventing the reel with every indent. And his strenuous reverie borrows too much from Michael Wood's America in the Movies and Leo Braudy's The World in a Frame to justify what comes across as his relentless mannerism. Not the history or social anatomy of the movies the jacket copy promises, then - or even the systematic explanation of their enduring power - but a bracing trip through O'Brien's personal movie landscape, which just might turn out to be yours too. (Kirkus Reviews)

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Author Biography - Geoffrey O'Brien

Geoffrey O'Brien is a frequent contributor to the New York Review of Books and the author of Hard-Boiled America and Dream-Time: Chapters from the Sixties. He lives in New York City.

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Recent books by Geoffrey O'Brien close
Stolen Glimpses, Captive Shadows by Geoffrey O'Brien
Bartlett's Familiar Quotations by Geoffrey O'Brien
Bartlett's Poems for Occasions by Geoffrey O'Brien
Browser's Ecstasy by Geoffrey O'Brien
Dream Time by Geoffrey O'Brien
Castaways of the Image Planet by Geoffrey O'Brien
Sleepless Nights by Geoffrey O'Brien
Hardboiled America by Geoffrey O'Brien
Fall of the House of Walworth by Geoffrey O'Brien
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