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Lopate, Phillip (Editor); Agee, James; Kael, Pauline, Sontag, Susan; Ebert, Roger & Others. AMERICAN MOVIE CRITICS: AN ANTHOLOGY FROM THE SILENTS UNTIL NOW. New York City, NY: The Library Of America, 2006. Hardcover. First Edition/First Printing. 720 pages. Fine/Fine.

Landmark collection of essays on subject. One of the most valuable film anthologies of our time. The First Hardcover Edition. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions. Published in a small and limited first print run as a hardcover original only and as "A Special Publication" by The Library of America. The First Edition is now scarce. Presents Phillip Lopate's "American Movie Critics: An Anthology From The Silents Until Now". That is, right before what appears to be its irreversible decline as a memorable film-going experience (with the rise of "streaming" on tiny smartphones), and therefore, as an art. Meanwhile, here is a full history of cinema from the points-of-view of the thoughtful, insightful, and brilliant writers who fell in love with the medium and embraced it. "A provocative and dynamic force in American culture since the early twentieth century, movies have presented several generations of American writers with a new, fascinating, and challenging subject. How writers rose to the challenge, and in the process created an extraordinary body of work makes for a dazzling and constantly entertaining volume. This is an anthology that charts the rise of movies as art, industry, and mass entertainment. Beginning in the Silent Era, with poets Vachel Lindsay and Carl Sandburg hailing the new medium and Edmund Wilson paying tribute to Chaplin's 'The Gold Rush', the collection traces the rapid evolution of the medium in an age of tumultuous political and social changes. Here are the great movie critics who forged a forceful vernacular idiom for talking about the new art: Otis Ferguson in the 1930's; James Agee in the 1940's; Manny Farber, Pauline Kael, Andrew Sarris, Molly Haskell, Vincent Canby, and others from what Lopate calls the Golden Age of movie criticism, from the 1950's through the 1970's. Here too are the finest film reviewers on the contemporary scene, including Richard Schickel, Roger Ebert, and Manohla Dargis. Joining the full-time film writers are many distinguished American authors weighing in on a range of cinematic experiences, including Ralph Ellison, Susan Sontag, James Baldwin, Brendan Gill, and John Ashbery" (Publisher's blurb). "An on-the-spot history of the coming-into-being of a new narrative medium. The arc of this story, as traced by Phillip Lopate, is thrilling" (Jonathan Lethem). Indeed, much of the credit goes to its indefatigable and erudite editor, himself a distinguished writer and keen observer of film: "I have focussed on film criticism as an art in itself, the magnet for strong, elegant, eloquent, enjoyable writing" (Phillip Lopate). An absolute "must-have" title for Phillip Lopate, American literature, and film collectors. This copy is very prominently and beautifully signed in black ink-pen on the title page by Phillip Lopate. It is signed directly on the page itself, not on a tipped-in page. This title is a great collection. As far as we know, this is the only such signed copy of the First Hardcover Edition/First Printing available online and is in especially fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a pristine beauty. Please note: Should NOT be confused with the much more common Softcover Edition. Copies available online have serious flaws because they have been pored over. This is surely an accessible and lovely alternative. A rare signed copy thus. Some of the greatest writers of the 20th century and our time. A fine copy. . ISBN 1931082928. $70.00

This item is available for purchase. This web page was most recently updated on October 17, 2019.