Exploring the evolution of film from the first moving pictures and peepshows to the digital era of DVDs and streaming video, cultural critic Gary Giddins considers how technologies have changed our experience of cinema from a spectacle shared in public to a largely private entertainment. Yet these technologies have also provided us with an opportunity to unearth past classics and forgotten gems, from the horror films of Hitchcock to the fantastical images of Disney, and Giddins provides engaging analyses of influential films and the directors and actors who made them possible.
"Best known as the Village Voice's longtime jazz critic, Giddins commands pop-culture expertise beyond music.... New assessments of decades-old releases ... allow Giddins to offer well-considered views of classics both vintage (The General, King Kong) and modern (Blade Runner) and of celebrated directors like Ford, Hawks, and Lubitsch. He tackles some relative obscurities as well, from a collection of German Expressionist silents to foreign masterworks by Lech Majewski and Peter Watkins.... A worthwhile read for movie lovers as well as a useful buying guide."—Booklist