McGinn’s observations will resonate with thoughtful moviegoers, who will surely annotate the text with their own dream and...

THE POWER OF MOVIES

HOW SCREEN AND MIND INTERACT

A brisk and often scintillating discourse on the striking similarities between dreams and movies.

The notion that moviegoers seldom analyze why films have power, let alone realize how the force of a film derives from its dream-like aspects, may not be as surprising to readers as McGinn (The Making of a Philosopher, 2001) suggests in his preface. Nevertheless, in the lucid, thought-provoking discussion that follows (which feels like a lively, extended lecture), McGinn (Philosophy/Rutgers Univ.) draws illuminating parallels between what happens at the Bijou and in bed. McGinn meticulously lays the groundwork for his hypothesis by devoting half of his text to describing what occurs when our eyes gaze at the screen. Essentially, he suggests, a film transports us through the frame where we respond to a scene’s two-dimensional character images as if they were extensions of the actors and of ourselves. (Of course, Woody Allen pursues this same idea in his charming film, The Purple Rose of Cairo, but McGinn doesn’t mention the film. He cites few examples throughout, unfortunately, but his discussion of the films he does cite are incisive.) In the second and far livelier section, McGinn details the ways movies resemble dreams. He fascinates as he shows how a film’s narrative structure, spatial discontinuities, montage, length, even its gestation and distribution all resemble dreaming. He caps his series of analogies by suggesting that dreams and films perform cathartic functions for those in the dark, an experience he finds akin to an intense sexual ravishing. Given currency, this particular hypothesis may well raise the box office from its current slump by sending readers rushing out for a good movie.

McGinn’s observations will resonate with thoughtful moviegoers, who will surely annotate the text with their own dream and movie experiences.

Pub Date: Dec. 13, 2005

ISBN: 0-375-42317-6

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Pantheon

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2005

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

A LIFETIME OF RECORDINGS

Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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