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February 2001, Week 1


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Lang Thompson <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Sat, 3 Feb 2001 00:24:05 -0500
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>> Can anyone recommend several novels or books of poetry having to do with
>> movies.  I'm particularly interested in works of literature having to do
>> with film spectatorship.

There are at least two anthologies devoted to poems about movies; they
should provide at least a start.  (Blaise Cendrars wrote a book called
"Hollywood" but I don't think it's poetry.)  As for novels, one very good
one that's escaped attention is "Throat Sprockets" by Tim Lucas (editor of
Video Watchdog), about an ad exec who becomes obsessed with an obscure
experimental film.  It's explicitly about how we (or at least the
protagonist) view films and how circumstances can change interpretations,
though it's not particularly theoretical.  The novel was marketed as horror
(there's a bit of blood) which must have confused anybody expecting King or
Barker type thrills.  Also, David Thomson's "Suspects" has the quite
unpromising concept of telling what happened next after the endings of
several famous film noirs (films noirs?) but builds into something unique
and is also about how we interpret films though in a more oblique approach.
 You might also try Gary K. Wolf's "Who Censored Roger Rabbit," the source
for the film "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" but quite different in overall tone
and several key elements.  And though it's not what you were asking about I
can't help but mention Gregory Maguire's "Wicked: The Life and Times of the
Wicked Witch of the West" which also has a concept that most people would
avoid (a quasi-realistic bio of the Wicked Witch) but is instead sharp,
imaginative and bleak, reminding me quite a bit of "The Once and Future
King."  Naturally, I highly recommend it.


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