In The Big Screen: The Story of the Movies and What They Did to Us, David Thomson, one of film’s greatest living experts and author of The New Biographical Dictionary of Film, tells the enthralling story of the movies and how they have shaped us. Taking us around the globe, through time and across multiple media, Thomson tracks the ways in which we were initially enchanted by this mesmerizing imitation of life and let movies – the stories, the stars, the look – show us how to live. But at the same time he shows us how movies, offering a seductive escape from the everyday reality and its responsibilities, have made it possible for us to evade life altogether. The entranced audience has become a model for powerless citizens trying to pursue happiness by sitting quietly in a dark room. Does the big screen take us out into the world, or merely mesmerize us? With film clips.
A linked season of films selected by Thomson, Big Screen Sunday Brunches, is being held at Watershed. The films are: Kiss Me Deadly (7 October), Breathless (14 October), The Truman Show (21 October) and Blue Velvet (28 October).
David Thomson has a fair claim to be the greatest living writer on film. His major works include The New Biographical Dictionary of Film, now in its 5th edition, and Have You Seen…?: A Personal Introduction to 1,000 Films including Masterpieces, Oddities, Guilty Pleasures and Classics (with Just a Few Disasters). Thomson was born in London, and now lives in San Francisco.
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