Practical Film Criticism - An Enlightened Approach to Moviegoing Volume Two

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These two volumes are an attempt to grapple with the nature of film art through the evaluation of vital and representative instances of that art, created throughout the world, from 1993 to 1998. The essays contained herein are acts of analysis and interpretation, they are neither windy theoretical musings nor impenetrable scholarly tracts. In addition, there are two translations of visionary articles by prominent international directors; an extended interview with an esteemed American movie critic, a speculative piece on the relationships among theatre, fiction, and film; an overview of the careers of the Vittorio De Sica and Woody Allen; and a long, polemical introduction. Generously illustrated.


“Bert Cardullo’s work is one of the brightest beacon lights in the world of film criticism, and this wide-ranging new collection makes that light shine even more brightly.” – Stanley Kauffmann

“Bert Cardullo is a fabulous viewer of movies. He practices a kind of film criticism that gives first place to one’s instinct for seeing possibilities in films and for identifying films to see possibilities within. This selection of essays is remarkable for its range and masterful in its use of language.” – Dudley Andrew “The film writings of Bert Cardullo are fresh and lucid, in addition to being revelatory of his belief that the study of cinema is a sacred calling. I marvel at Cardullo’s profound perceptiveness about the exemplary meaning as well as the ultimate magic of the movies.” – Andrew Sarris

“Bert Cardullo’s articles and reviews are invariably intelligent, original, and highly informed. I have been a sturdy admirer of his work; he’s a solid writer and an equally solid judge. Because of his vast knowledge of the movies, not to speak of the theatre, Cardullo is able to make fascinating connections in showing how different works – sometimes from widely varying times and places – throw a light on one another.” – Richard Gilman

“He writes short readable reviews, and a lot of what he has to say about world cinema of the 1990s would be interesting to a very wide audience. . . . Cardullo’s writing is densely packed, and all the more impressive for the fact that he studiously avoids the generalizations and simplifications that lazy reviewers too often blame on space constraints. . . . his reviews are written with great seriousness and attention to both aesthetic and social detail. He is someone with an impressive and stimulating command of the difficult dance of the film review.” – Canadian Journal of Film Studies

Table of Contents

Preface, Introduction; Chronology of Film Theory and Criticism
Part One: Long Takes (Eleven Film Chronicles)
Ethics and Aesthetics: The Stranger and Uranus
Forbidden Games: Stolen Children and Leolo
Dancin’: Danzon and The Match Factory Girl
The Uses of History: The Remains of the Day and Farewell, My Concubine
Mirabile visu et dictu: Raining Stones and A Tale of Winter
Spanish and American: Barcelona and Strawberry and Chocolate
Smoke and Tears: Smoke and Mamma Roma
Lands of the Free: Lamerica and Land and Freedom
Cold Turkey Fever: Trainspotting and Cold Fever
A Single Girl, a Man Alone: Sling Blade and A Single Girl
Medium Cool: The Truman Show and Wag the Dog
Part Two: Wide Angles (Notes and Reconsiderations)
Autumn Interiors, of The Ladies Eve: Woody Allen’s Ingmar Bergman Complex
Seeing the Light: Adolphe Appia and Me by Hans-Jurgen Syberberg
Theatre and Fiction into film: Notes on Two Pardigmatic Scenes
Before the Velvet Revolution: ‘My Part in the Controversies Surrounding Hungarian Filmmaking’ by András Kovács
Vittorio de Sica: A Bio-Critical Overview

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