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My Affair with Art House Cinema : Essays and Reviews - Phillip Lopate

My Affair with Art House Cinema

Essays and Reviews

By: Phillip Lopate

Hardcover | 2 July 2024 | Edition Number 1

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Phillip Lopate fell hard for the movies as an adolescent. As he matured into an acclaimed critic and essayist, his infatuation deepened into a lifelong passion. My Affair with Art House Cinema presents Lopate's selected essays and reviews from the last quarter century, inviting readers to experience films he found exhilarating, tantalizing, and beguiling--and sometimes disappointing or frustrating--through his keen eyes.

In an essayist's sinuous prose style, Lopate captures the formal mastery, artistic imagination, and emotional intensity of art house essentials like Yasujirō Ozu's Late Spring, David Lynch's Mulholland Drive, and Andrei Tarkovsky's Solaris, as well as works by contemporary filmmakers such as Maren Ade, Hong Sang-soo, Hou Hsiao-hsien, Christian Petzold, Paolo Sorrentino, and Jafar Panahi. Essays explore Chantal Akerman's rigorous honesty, Ingmar Bergman's intimacy, Abbas Kiarostami's playfulness, Kenji Mizoguchi's visual style, and Frederick Wiseman's vision of the human condition. Lopate also reflects on the work of fellow critics, including Roger Ebert, Pauline Kael, and Jonathan Rosenbaum. His considered, at times contrarian critiques and celebrations will inspire readers to watch or rewatch these films. Above all, this book showcases Lopate's passionate advocacy for not only particular films and directors but also the joys and value of a filmgoing culture.

Industry Reviews
[A] splendid collection . . . The essays breeze by, enlivened by Lopate's punchy prose and palpable love of cinema. Cinephiles will cherish this. * Publishers Weekly *
Erudite and comprehensible, this invitation to cinematic culture, just like encounters with many films, rewards repeat customers. * Library Journal *
Phillip Lopate is the model of the eloquent and incisive critic. His expertise in the personal essay gives his film criticism the depth and precision of finely crafted literature. He brings to the task a keen intelligence, broad knowledge, and a sympathetic warmth rare on the contemporary scene. He never promotes himself at the expense of the film at hand, but his willingness to admit his tastes (and to change his mind) shows a true humanistic sensibility at work. Every serious film admirer will value this book as an ideal guide to the treasures of arthouse cinema. -- David Bordwell, author of Perplexing Plots: Popular Storytelling and the Poetics of Murder
In this superb collection, Phillip Lopate goes where passion has taken him, which luckily for us is unbounded by the requirements and format of any single publication. My Affair with Art House Cinema combines some of the idiosyncratic notes of the personal essay with an easy command of film history, enhanced by Lopate's typically astute analysis of the way visual and compositional choices inform directorial sensibility. A treasure trove of a book which invites us to rethink the masterpieces of art house cinema and make acquaintance with unknown gems. -- Molly Haskell, author of Steven Spielberg: A Life in Films
Phillip Lopate's wonderfully written first-person film criticism is warm and affectionate, as well as smart and knowledgeable. Lopate is a scholar and a gentleman-even if, a true cinephile, he does like to kiss and tell. -- J. Hoberman, author of Film After Film: Or, What Became of 21st Century Cinema?
Phillip Lopate is a convivial movie date, and his film essays have the poetry-and punch-of legendary sports reporters. For him, though, cinephilia is less a sport than a faith. Lopate's My Affair with Art House Cinema spans the last quarter-century of work by the likes of Chantal Akerman and Ingmar Bergman to Francois Truffaut and Frederick Wiseman. As he writes about the rhythms, themes, and framing of the movies he loves, his passion is contagious. -- Carrie Rickey, author of A Complicated Passion: The Life and Work of Agnes Varda

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