At GreenCine, our fascination with the world of motion pictures extends beyond the silver screen
(even if our phraseology is a bit off - the screens are no longer silver and the pictures are not quite "moving" these days). It's no secret, given the number of interviews and articles among these pages, that we're quite fond of the printed word as well. Or, in the parlance of the late Bill Hicks
, we're a bunch of "readers
over here. There are a number of writers in our midst, too.
Anselm Kiefer: Buch mit Flügeln
We've decided to share these mutual interests with you, our devoted audience, with texts not entirely unrelated from our other pursuits. As you'll discover below, our definition of "film book" is somewhat loose. Nearly loose enough to include the catalogue from German painter/sculptor Anselm Kiefer
exhibition currently on display at SFMOMA (despite Michael Auping
's name-checking of Wim Wenders
's Wings of Desire
in the introduction). Nearly, but not quite, although Kiefer's work is more devoted to storytelling than any number of movies out of Hollywood. The definition would be loose enough to include Scott Kirsner
's just-published eBook, The Future of Web Video
, in which we're favorably mentioned, but word arrived too late to include his observations. It's certainly worthy of a plug, regardless. Our definition is definitely "big tent" enough to fit an excellent Julian Fellowes
novel and a work of cultural criticism by Greil Marcus
, along with a few biographies that you would likely expect from a collection such as this.
Among these dozen texts, at least one is guaranteed to carry you through autumn-into-winter. Which one, exactly, is impossible to say. Your mileage may vary. The views and opinions expressed are entirely those of the reviewers (although we might fervently agree or quietly disagree).
While it is unlikely that the casual reader would make their way through this "essential lexicon of filmological knowledge" from cover-to-cover, practically anyone would benefit immensely from such immersion. In fact, motion picture neophytes could pass as long-time cinephiles with careful study of these 114 refined pages. From renowned film critic James Agee
to the legendary Z Channel
, with entries on Bruce Campbell
, Henry Jaglom
, Guy Maddin
, Thelma Schoonmaker
and Apichatpong Weerasethakul
(all interviewed on this site) along the way, The Film Snob's Dictionary
goes where few texts have successfully gone before - into the deep terrain of essential cinema with a sense of humor intact.
Granted, its most endearing quality for folks around our office is this paragraph sandwiched appropriately enough between Peter Greenaway
and Pam Grier
Savvy, San Francisco-based DVD-rental company founded in 2002 as a Film Snob's alternative to the intolerably mainstream Netflix. With its hard-to-find titles (e.g., Bury Me Dead
, The Brick Dollhouse
) and requisite perverse and/or obscurist staff recommendations (e.g., Jess Franco
's The Diabolical Doctor Z
's Beware of a Holy Whore
), GreenCine affords all the perks of an aggressively hip alterna-store without the unpleasantness of dealing with surly, contemptuous clerks.
Co-authors David Kamp and Lawrence Levi's apt praise aside, this is an essential text for aspiring film snobs everywhere (and a seemingly readymade refresher course for video store hangers-on and know-it-alls).
In addition to his persistence in acquiring obscure films for GreenCine, Jonathan Marlow is a writer, filmmaker, curator and occasional critic. Not necessarily in that order. He is also a dedicated skeptic.