I picked up David Thomson’s How to Watch a Movie on a whim from my local library shelf knowing nothing about it or Thomson. You can’t really call me a movie buff – I just don’t have time to watch many movies – but I really enjoy watching them when I get the chance, and I love listening to smart people talk about movies. (The Filmspotting podcast has been at the top of my must-listen list for at least the past 5 years.)
So for my interest in movies, I haven’t (to my recollection) read any books about them.
And, (spoiler alert?) if you’re in my shoes, I wouldn’t recommend this one.
Maybe it’s brilliant and I just need to read 10 other books to get ready for it, but I don’t think so. In 200 pages Thomson talks about different aspects of film-making and film-watching and manages to come across as a pompous snob. I pushed on through because it was short and I wasn’t ready to start my “nope” list on Goodreads quite yet.
So, I need to find some better books on film. Which jogs my memory – the Filmspotting guys did an episode recently where they listed their top 5 film books. Guess I should’ve paid more attention. Maybe I’ll give it another listen.