• Probably the best overview of the cinema ever written. It sparkles with insight, is packed with anecdote, and pulses with passion ... a glorious celebration of one of humankind's great inventions

    John Banville, Guardian BOOKS OF THE YEAR
  • A devilish, dazzling, out-there divination ... Criticism is rarely this passionate and brilliant. You come away wanting to watch it all

  • David Thomson is a giant in the world of film criticism, and his book is the chest-crusher you might expect: erudite, delightfully tangential and surprisingly polemical

    Kate Muir, The Times
  • Thomson has composed a grand aesthetic, spiritual, and moral account of cinema history assembled around the movies and artists that have meant the most to him. As Thomson reconstructs film history, movies bring us close to reality and deliver us into ecstatic dreams. A pungently written, brilliant book

    David Denby (author of SNARK)
  • The theme of The Big Screen is the weirdness of desire ... Drawing on his vast stock of knowledge, Thomson takes us on a meander through Nouvelle Vague and Italian neorealism; Coppola and Scorsese; MGM musicals and film noir. He always comes back in the end to the kind of fun it is possible to have only at the movies, sitting in the dark, staring at the light ... Line by line, Thomson is still the greatest biographical writer about film of all time ... to read him on his favourite films is to be sent back with renewed yearning to that land of Californian light and loveliness

    Sunday Times
  • Subtle, erudite and entertaining

  • Fascinating ... a loose-limbed, conversational narrative, moving fitfully through time, dawdling over directors and films that interest ... crackling with ideas and vivid impressionisms ... Thomson's stylish prose, simultaneously erudite and entertaining, captivates as it informs ... Buffs and casual fans alike will enjoy this extra-large serving of popcorn for thought

    Publishers Weekly
  • The greatest living writer on the movies ... The Big Screen is surely his magnum opus

    John Banville, New Statesman BOOKS OF THE YEAR
  • Rigorous and rewarding, and a page rarely passes without insight

    Independent BOOKS OF THE YEAR
  • Nobody else would match its sweep, its erudition, its discernment or its warmth

    David Hare, Guardian BOOKS OF THE YEAR

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