Description - The Material Ghost by Gilberto Perez
Gilberto Perez's love of film dates back to his childhood in Havana, His favourite theatre was the Capri, which showed an astonishing variety of films from all over the world. And his regular companion at the movies was his father, a doctor who brought a passion for literature and the arts to his enjoyment of film - and passed that sensibility to his son. "I grew up with the movies as art", writes Perez, "and with art not as something stuffy and affected but as something vital, like the movies". In "The Material Ghost", Perez draws on his lifelong love of the movies as well as his work as a film scholar to write an engaging study of films and filmmakers and the nature of the art form. For Perez, film is complex and richly contradictory - a medium both lifelike and dreamlike, both documentary and fictional, where real details create imaginary worlds, where figures appear before us like actors on a stage and yet are removed from us like characters in a novel. He investigates these complexities by discussing a breathtaking range of works from the earliest days of cinema to the present.
From the silent era, he explores the work of Keaton and Chaplin, Griffith and Eisenstein, the haunting anxiety of Murnau's "Nosferatu" and the epic lyricism of Dovzhenko's "Earth". From the classic era of sound cinema, he discusses the searching realism of Jean Renoir and the memorable westerns of John Ford, Bunuel's corrosive documentary "Land Without Bread" and Hitchcock's mesmerizing "Vertigo". From the sixties and seventies, he examines the shifting parables of Jean-Luc Godard and the arresting uncertainty of Antonini's "Eclipse", Straub and Huillet's reflective "History Lessons" and such explosive Hollywood films as "The Wild Bunch" and "The Godfather". He also comments on the current scene, including the refashioned gangster films of Martin Scorsese and the philosophical realism of the Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami.
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(228mm x 157mm x 30mm)
Johns Hopkins University Press
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
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Author Biography - Gilberto Perez
Gilberto Perez is a professor of film studies at Sarah Lawrence College and film critic for the Yale Review.