One of the most difficult hardcover titles in the Cinema One series (this being No. 22). The definitive review of producer Val Lewton's legendary films (which included "I Walked with a Zombie" and "Cat People," among others)....
|Title||:||Val Lewton: The Reality of Terror|
|Number of Pages||:||176 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Val Lewton: The Reality of Terror Reviews
5 stars for the first section (biography of Lewton) and 3 stars for the second (critical reviews of his films) = 4 stars. The biography was in-depth and considered, with lots of personal details about Lewton filled in by those who knew him best. The reviews were arbitrary and, personally, I didn't agree with a lot of the assessments. They were also dated, which is good news, because while the author had trouble tracking down some of Lewton's films, they're now all easily available. Val Lewton's movies are some of my favorites and it's great to know more about him.
A superb introduction to Val Lewton and his cinema. The first half of the book is biographical and analytical. Siegel is very good on the biographical narrative and weaving in the innovations and influences of the films that Lewton produced. He emphasizes Lewton's production method, his production frustrations, and his respectful, deliberate collaboration with others. For someone like myself whose only other source on Lewton was Scorsese's documentary, there is an abundance of detail filled in here. Siegel is always keen to demonstrate Lewton's auteurship and influence on others, but never at the expense of others or with any special pleading. Reliably, Siegel withholds no criticism of what he sees as lesser filmmaking and always evaluates the films fairly. He's also good on noting critical response to the films at time of release. Special mention goes to sympathetic critics Farber and Agee. (Both men's criticism being available in fine collections.) The second half of the book is sparer, but still rich criticism of each Lewton production. I'd highly recommend this book to all Lewton newcomers.
It is interesting to read old film criticism like this because the author makes references to having to track down prints of some of these movies. Thank you for the glorious age of the DVD. I like the biographical information in the first part of the book, very informative with some quite fascinatiating antedoctal information. The criticism was odd because there seemed to be a lot of emphasis on actors and sets than you would expect in a retrospective of a career. Anyway a very interesting book about a talented and intriguing figure from Hollywood's golden age.Joel E. Siegel why do you hate Roman Polanski?
Much like when a reader of 20th century literature finally discovers the sublime work of Theodore Sturgeon then Clifford Simak...A true cineast must discover the work of Val Lewton and know that they have received a message in a bottle meant only for them. This book is wonderful. THEE book on Lewton. The first half is Lewton's touching and beautiful struggle against a system that needed him more than it knew...the second half is a thorough critique and description of his 11 works of film art. Read this.