Charles Winecoff
December 08, 2000 AT 05:00 AM EST

Writers at the Movies: Twenty-six Contemporary Authors Celebrate Twenty-Six Memorable Movies

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
publisher
HarperPerennial Library
genre
Essays, Nonfiction

We gave it a B

In Twenty-Six Contemporary Authors Celebrate Twenty-Six Memorable Movies, an anthology of essays, writers and poets expound on their favorite films with varying results — some, like Rick Bass’s mind-numbingly meticulous eulogy of Buffalo 66, are as boring as listening to blow by blow accounts of other people’s dreams. But there’s enough variety here that rays of humor (and occasionally insight) shine through, particularly when Lorrie Moore defends James Cameron’s Titanic (”the clichés here are sturdy to the point of eloquence”), Salman Rushdie compares The Wizard of Oz with the Indian cinema of his youth (”Hindi movies made [it] look like kitchen sink realism”), and poet Michael Ryan ponders the power of Dead Man Walking (”It’s almost funny to imagine how Steven Spielberg would have done it, with his talent for turning even the worst historical catastrophes into schlock”). B

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