Reviews for Best Film You've Never Seen : 35 Directors Champion the Forgotten or Critically Savaged Movies They Love
Booklist Reviews 2013 May #2
In The Film That Changed My Life (2011), Elder interviewed movie directors about the films that inspired them. This new book offers a twist on that theme as 35 directors tell us about their favorite overlooked or critically panned movies. There's a good mixture of directors, from famous names (Guillermo del Toro, Peter Bogdanovich, John Woo) to filmmakers who haven't yet become known by mass audiences. And the films are pretty diverse, too, ranging from unsung greats (the British true-crime film, 10 Rillington Place) to films widely considered to be, well, awful (Can't Stop the Music, starring the Village People). The question-and-answer format allows readers to hear the directors' reasons for their choices in their own words; Jonathan Levine, for example, points out that somehow, perhaps because of its badness, Can't Stop the Music is about as entertaining as a movie could possibly be. Each interview explores its subject's relationship with his or her chosen film--when they first saw it, why they enjoy it so much--and ultimately the book isn't so much about the movies as it is about the moviemakers. Great fun for movie fans. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.
Library Journal Express Reviews
Eight years in the making, this book offers a lively exercise in revisionist film history made possible by the savvy vision of some of today's most intriguing filmmakers. Elder (editor, Lake County News-Sun; The Film That Changed My Life) interviews 35 directors (only one of whom is a woman) about their favorite underrepresented movie and then discusses their selection. The results are often revelatory and always engaging, especially for readers in search of a few good flicks. Unlike the little-known gems they champion, many of the directors are quite famous, for example, John Waters, Arthur Hiller, Kevin Smith, and Frank Oz. It's clear that these filmmakers relish candid discussions of their medium, although their enthusiasm often results in colorful language some readers will find objectionable. Ultimately, Elder is successful in pulling thoughtful, stimulating commentary from an impressive group, which makes for an illuminating look at eight decades of cinema across a variety of genres including musicals, comedies, thrillers, and theatrical adaptations. Verdict A well-written, lively read for pop culture fans and cinephiles alike. Film buffs especially will enjoy this foray into the fascinating world of cinematic shadows.--Dan McClure, Pacific Northwest Coll. of Art Lib., Portland, OR (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.