Do the Movies Have a Future?

By David Denby
(Simon & Schuster, Paperback, 9781416599487, 368pp.)

Publication Date: October 22, 2013

Other Editions of This Title: Hardcover

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Received as an important work of one of our most important film critics, Do the Movies Have a Future? draws from a selection of the New Yorker writer’s published pieces over a dozen years to examine the art, business, and future of the movies.

In the second decade of the twenty-first century, the movies, once America’s primary popular art form, have become an endangered species. Do the Movies Have a Future? is a rousing and witty call to arms. In these sharp and engaging essays and reviews, The New Yorker movie critic David Denby weighs in on the increasingly frenzied, weightless action spectacles that dominate the world’s attention. He also reaffirms that movies are our national theater, celebrating such big movies as Avatar as well as small but resonant triumphs like There Will Be Blood and The Tree of Life.

Denby praises what remains of the shared culture in romantic comedy, high school movies, and chick flicks; he assesses the expressive triumphs and failures of auteurs Quentin Tarantino, the Coen brothers, Pedro Almodóvar, and David Fincher. Refusing nostalgia, he mines the past for strength, examining the changing nature of stardom; and he recreates the excitement of reading two critics who embodied the film culture of their times, James Agee and Pauline Kael.

Wry, passionate, and incisive, Do the Movies Have a Future? is both a feast of good writing and a challenge to fight back. It is an essential guide for movie lovers looking for ammunition and hope.

About the Author

David Denby has been film critic and staff writer at The New Yorker since 1998; prior to that he was film critic of New York magazine. His reviews and essays have also appeared in The New Republic, The Atlantic, and The New York Review of Books. He lives in New York City.

Praise For Do the Movies Have a Future?

eoeA must for movie loverse

eoeDavid Denbye(TM)s work is learned, wry, quietly passionate, utterly absorbing and unfailingly intelligent e" criticism as it is meant to be done and these days rarely is. Some of his pieces will, I think, stand as definitive for years to come. If movies have a future e" and I think they do e" it will be thanks in part to critics of Denbye(TM)s rare and demanding sensibility.e
-Richard Schickel, film critic, author of Conversations with Scorsese

eoeNew Yorker film critic Denbye(TM)s fascinating collection of essays on the business, the art, and the sacred rituals of movie making and movie watching explores what part film plays in our collective consciousness, particularly in this new digital age.e

eoeThis collection shows a superb critic at his best e" thoughtful, probing, his breadth of cinematic knowledge gracefully dispensed. Crucial to me is how Denby constantly makes us aware of the context of movies e" how the present plays off the past, and the ways in which it comes up short. Voicing the passion of many, this is a cri de coeur for what has increasingly become an oxymoron, Hollywood entertainment for adults.e
-Molly Haskell, film critic, author of Frankly, My Dear

eoeThroughout his essays, he builds a convincing case for his contention that e~a healthy movie scene cane(TM)t exist without criticse(TM)e Recommended for informed film buffs.e

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