"Have You Seen...?": A Personal Introduction to 1,000 Films

David Thomson

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"Have You Seen...?": A Personal Introduction to 1,000 Films

Have You Seen A Personal Introduction to Films In David Thomson published his Biographical Dictionary of Film and few film books have enjoyed better press or such steady sales Now thirty three years later we have the companion volume a s

  • Title: "Have You Seen...?": A Personal Introduction to 1,000 Films
  • Author: David Thomson
  • ISBN: 9780307264619
  • Page: 139
  • Format: Hardcover
  • In 1975, David Thomson published his Biographical Dictionary of Film, and few film books have enjoyed better press or such steady sales.Now, thirty three years later, we have the companion volume, a second book of than 1,000 pages in one voice that of our most provocative contemporary film critic and historian.Juxtaposing the fanciful and the fabulous, the old favorIn 1975, David Thomson published his Biographical Dictionary of Film, and few film books have enjoyed better press or such steady sales.Now, thirty three years later, we have the companion volume, a second book of than 1,000 pages in one voice that of our most provocative contemporary film critic and historian.Juxtaposing the fanciful and the fabulous, the old favorites and the forgotten, this sweeping collection presents the films that Thomson offers in response to the question he gets asked most often What should I see This new book is a generous history of film and an enticing critical appraisal written with as much humor and passion as historical knowledge Not content to choose his own top films though they are here , Thomson has created a list that will surprise and delight you and send you to your best movie rental service.But he also probes the question after one hundred years of film, which ones are the best, and why Have You Seen suggests a true canon of cinema and one that s almost completely accessible now, thanks to DVDs This book is a must for anyone who loves the silver screen the perfect confection to dip into at any point for a taste of controversy, little known facts, and ideas about what to see This is a volume you ll want to return to again and again, like a dear but argumentative friend in the dark at the movies.

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    One thought on “"Have You Seen...?": A Personal Introduction to 1,000 Films

    1. Paul Bryant on said:

      2016 AT THE MOVIESPART ONE : HOLLYWOODTHE BESTLove And Mercy – As a Brian Wilson fan I resisted seeing this, I thought it was really quite a creepy idea - he has been turned into a suffering saint - but finally I crumbled & was humbled – it was great, could not have been better.The King’s Speech - as a hearty disliker of the British Royal family I resisted seeing this – what, a movie which inculcates sympathy for these tiresome parasites? but finally I crumbled & was humbled – [...]

    2. Sketchbook on said:

      Thomson blogs. It's like reading GR, which is both good, bad and that's enough for now.I did not finish reading 1,000 reviews, but I did abt 200. So far. Thomson has written film revs for The Guardian and The New Republic that I've admired, so his effort to rival The Kael (and her "5001 Nights at the Movies," 1982), intrigued me. Plus his tome, 2008, takes us into the 21st century. But it's disappointing. The essays, all about 1,200 words each, read like humdrum "homework." Or improv bloggery.Gr [...]

    3. Charles Matthews on said:

      Everybody loves a list. The American Film Institute, for example, gets a couple of TV specials every year out of listing the 100 best movies in some genre or other. And every film critic in the country is annually obligated to come up with a list of the top ten movies of the year.But a list of 1,000 films? The vastness of such a project betrays its absurdity: No one's critical sensibility is so fine-tuned as to allow a convincing distinction in quality between the thousandth film on the list and [...]

    4. Kirk on said:

      Update 12/31/17:Three more movies seen before the end of the horrid year 2017:Guardians of the Galaxy 2 - ***Die Hard (r) My wife had never seen it, and it was playing in Bury St. Edmunds one night only. Holds up amazingly well, given how many action movies of that era are cringe-inducing now. Yippekayee.Star Wars: The Last JediI never thought I would type these words: Mark Hamill is great in this movie. Seriously. I'm not even kidding.Annual check on glass ceiling of directing films: 105 movies [...]

    5. Jarvo on said:

      David Thomson enjoys an enormous reputation as a film critic, fed, above all, by his Biographical Dictionary of Film, voted the best film book ever by a panel of his peers in Sight and Sound. Its perhaps telling then that he has chosen to complement that with a book of similar size, this time dedicated to films themselves. And these are, I believe, his most successful books by some distance. Is there, perhaps, something in his approach that is at its best when dealing with the details, rather th [...]

    6. Lize on said:

      I own Thomson's "New Biographical Dictionary of Film", which is excellent, so I picked this one up from the library to 'audition' it and see if I wanted to buy it (I did). It's a monster of a book, covering 1,000 films, one per page, with Thomson's personal thoughts on each one, which, being nowhere near as objective as a review might be expected to be, are fascinating and often great fun to read. And Thomson's encyclopedic knowledge of detail always tells me something I didn't know, even about [...]

    7. Robert Beveridge on said:

      David Thomson, Have You Seen?: A Personal Introduction to 1,000 Films (Knopf, 2008)I am enough of a film geek that I have a favorite critic, Jonathan Rosenbaum. He's witty, acerbic, and all too clear-eyed (enough to make an amateur like me wonder where I, or he, has gone so horribly wrong on certain movies). But after reading David Thomson's capsule notes on a thousand movies ranging from stuff everyone's written column inches on to movies even you have never heard of, Rosenbaum has some competi [...]

    8. Lewis Martin on said:

      A wonderful reference book for film fans. It consists of one page reviews of 1,000 films selected by Mr Thomson from the many thousands that he must have watched. They have been chosen either because they are personal favourites or because they are have particular significance in the history the cinema. Also included are the occasional TV series (The Sopranos) or TV drama (A Question of Attribution). It is the perfect coffee table book. It can be picked up for 2 minutes or 20 - the hard part is [...]

    9. Patrick on said:

      This makes for fascinating reading. I stumbled upon this compendium of reviews at an Exclusive Book sale, picked it up, and it was not long before I was hooked. At first I simply wanted to check Thomson's views against my own on many of my favourite movies; now I'm using it to guide me through my own classic film curriculum. I love this man's erudite turn of phrase and the compact manner in which he delivers his extensive knowledge and expertise.

    10. Dave on said:

      I mentioned that reading this was like eating potato chips--but how many potato chips can you eat in one sitting? After the second bag (the Ds), it got a bit much. I'll get back to it.He is fun to read because he's seen Everything, and so has a comprehensive view of the whole film tradition of most of the world. Of course, just because you have experience and a consistent view and a critical vision doesn't mean you're right. Very similar to reading Edmund Wilson, Robert Christgau, others who thi [...]

    11. Todd on said:

      Twenty years ago this book would have been an amazing read, but with the advent of websites like the Internet Movie Database it becomes less unique. With that said, this book is still a wonderful reference for all those moviegoers who do not have internet access/literacy and want a text that introduces them to a number of films across multiple genres. Thomson affords each movie a page of introduction that is informative, anecdotal, and witty (at times even snarky). This is a great book to keep o [...]

    12. John Kennedy on said:

      There are many entries in this book that I'll never watch because of their unavailability, primarily silent and foreign films. Yet Thomson has several suggestions of hidden gems from the 1930s through the 1950s to watch. He has an appreciation for Golden Age of Hollywood stars such as Joel McCrea and Jean Arthur that many modern critics have forgotten. Beware that Thomson has multiple listings for his favorite directors, Nicholas Ray, Otto Preminger, Anthony Mann, George Cukor, Fritz Lang, and K [...]

    13. Bert on said:

      This is not intended to be a book about the best 1,000 films; it’s Thomson’s thoughts on films that are worth seeing for a variety of reasons. All the write-ups are one page or less. Like Pauline Kael, Thomson has his own unique perspective on films -- the “Personal” in the title should be taken seriously – so I often don’t enjoy films I’ve watched on his recommendation but his observations are worth reading.

    14. Hope on said:

      An interesting catalog of movies. I don't know anything about Thomson, but he seems to suffer from the same disease as most film reviewers: that of believing the darkest and oldest movies are the most interesting. His writing style is rather cryptic and he never tells you much about the plot or the movie in general. It is not really for people who are trying to find something to read on a Saturday night, but might be more interesting to the serious movie buff or scholar of cinema.

    15. Amy on said:

      Very interesting!Films are arranged in alphabetical order. The date that the film was released is in ( ) after each title. Each film rates a 3/4 page "review". Of the 1000 movies in the book, I have seen approximately 200. Some noteworthy absences: Chicago, A Chorus Line, Ghosts of Mississippi, Harry Potter, Laurence Olivier's MacBeth, Mississippi Burning, Philadelphia, Private Benjamin, Risky Business, Top Gun.

    16. Ed Smiley on said:

      This is a very good book, encyclopedic in that he takes a great effort to include films that he thinks you ought to know about. His opinions are quirky (because he sometimes disagrees with me in ways I take violent exception to). However, he always voices coherent reasons for his positions.I good book for a film buff.

    17. Karen on said:

      Of course I skimmed this mammoth book, passing over the esoteric entries like Un Chien Andalou in favor of movies I love like Angel Face. David Thomson is such an idiosyncratic writer, even when he's writing about movies I know really well, I have no idea what he's talking about half the time. Which is kind of fun and kind of annoying. But, still, I ate it up like popcorn.

    18. Diana Duncan on said:

      Very entertaining reviews of 1,000 films. He introduced me to many that I'd never heard of. Thomson is most entertaining when describing films that he included though he personally loathes them such as The Sound of Music.

    19. stephanie on said:

      I LOVE movie lists. I checked this book out from the library and reluctantly returned it three weeks later. A fantastic reference for anyone looking for an "education" in world cinema. If only it had some pictures

    20. Melissa on said:

      It's a big thick book, great stuff for a movie lover. I only read about movies I'd seen or were curious about. Honestly, I didn't know what he was talking about quite a bit of the time, but his is a quirky, opinionated voice I enjoyed. I also got a long list of movies to see or to watch again.

    21. John on said:

      Great fun to pick up and read randomly or to consult as a partial reference. Good writing and strong opinions -- or not depending on the review and the reason the film was chosen for the collection. It's the contrarian views that most light the imagination.

    22. Kristine (fezabel) on said:

      This is a really great book covering lots & lots of movies using short detailed bits. I liked the background & details about my favorites & added several movies to my to-watch list. I liked that the author didn't spoil the movies too much for the ones I haven't seen. Highly recommended!

    23. Neil McCrea on said:

      Personal essays on 1,000 + films. Thompson unearths rare gems and attacks sacred cows without succumbing to the tired notion that art of any sort can really be ranked in any sort of top ten style hierarchy.

    24. Gordon Howard on said:

      A very good reference book for 1,000 films selected by this critic. I took a History of Film class from David Thomson at Dartmouth in 1980 and I have a lot of respect for him as a film critic and author, as well as a teacher. Each film gets a page, and a review, good, bad, or conflicted.

    25. Michelle on said:

      He's a mean one, that 'Dick' Thomson, but he is one talented and eloquent son of a bitch. Now at the very top of my list for that arbitrary "If you could have dinner with anyone in history who would it be?" list.

    26. James on said:

      I pick up this book whenever I see a movie mentioned in it or am looking for one to watch - as good to disagree with as to admire. Thomson grows tetchier with each book but he makes you appreciate that watching cinema is a form of dreaming.

    27. Tara on said:

      Very provocative. I often disagree with Thomson's assessments, but they are virtually always interesting.

    28. Patricia on said:

      Perversely leaves out important films by Woody Allen and Ingmar Bergman. He really doesn't like comedy. But he can write short essays about films better than just about anybody.

    29. StevenF on said:

      Whether agree with him or disagree, his way with words is always is undeniable. He is interesting and entertaining.

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