Call Boomerang Books 1300 36 33 32

Description - The Phantom Empire by Geoffrey O'Brien

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.

Buy The Phantom Empire by Geoffrey O'Brien from Australia's Online Independent Bookstore, Boomerang Books.

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 - The Phantom Empire by Geoffrey O'Brien

Book Reviews - The Phantom Empire 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)

» Have you read this book? We'd like to know what you think about it - write a review about Phantom Empire book by Geoffrey O'Brien and you'll earn 50c in Boomerang Bucks loyalty dollars (you must be a Boomerang Books Account Holder - it's free to sign up and there are great benefits!)

Write Review

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.

Books By Geoffrey O'Brien

Stolen Glimpses, Captive Shadows by Geoffrey O'Brien
Hardback, June 2013
Bartlett's Familiar Quotations by Geoffrey O'Brien
Hardback, November 2012
Bartlett's Poems for Occasions by Geoffrey O'Brien
Hardback, September 2004
Browser's Ecstasy by Geoffrey O'Brien
Paperback, March 2003