For decades the Village Voice set the benchmark for passionate, critical, and unique film coverage. Including reviews by some of America’s most respected critics, The Village Voice Film Guide compiles spirited landmark reviews of the Voice’s selection of the 150 greatest films ever made. Collecting some of the best writing on film ever put on paper, this is a perfect book for film buffs.
For half a century, the Village Voice has set the gold standard for serious film coverage. The New York City alternative weekly has boasted three of America's best critics--Jonas Mekas, Andrew Sarris, and J. Hoberman--and the backup reviewers have been nearly as good. In the pieces collected here, they turn their acumen to some 150 films, from Bunuel's L'Age d'Or and Vigo's Zero for Conduct to Scorsese's The Age of Innocence, from meritorious crowd-pleasers like Chinatown and 2001 to avant-garde works by Stan Brakhage and Joseph Cornell. Although most of the reviews were written for the films' initial releases, roughly a quarter of them were composed to notice revival screenings in Manhattan's many repertory houses, such as those of the silent masterworks Sunrise and Les Vampires; two and even three commentaries occasioned by other such screenings appear. In view of the recent sale of the Voice to a chain that seems set on eviscerating arts coverage, this valuable, illuminating collection may be a swan song for the publication's former preeminence. Gordon Flagg