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216 × 138 × 30 mm
312 pages
16 Sep 2019

Second Sight The Selected Film Writing of Adam Mars-Jones Adam Mars-Jones

The film review can be a little art form, not just a consumer guide, as this collection shows. Covering more than 30 years of film releases, celebrated critic Adam Mars-Jones guides us through the most entertaining, most appalling, most fantastic films of his viewing lifetime, interleaving his original film reviews with new insights and reflections.

Mars-Jones answers the questions that no other book has even bothered to ask. What is Twister really about? How many Steven Spielbergs are there? (Spoiler: he counts thirteen). How many of them are worth anything? Who had the greatest slow-burn career in the movies. (Clue: he taught Montgomery Clift how to roll a cigarette.) Which science-fiction film features the most haunting use of slime? Funny, combative and revealing, Second Sight is a celebration of the art form that maintains the strongest hold on the modern imagination.

‘Adam Mars-Jones’s Second Sight (Reaktion Books), a collection of film journalism from across 30 years, became an instant candidate for my desert island book.’ — Leo Robson, New Stateman 'Books of the Year'

‘Just as he doesn’t write reviews like anyone else, so it follows that Second Sight rejects the orthodoxy of the criticism collection. Though it draws from around three decades of work, predominantly at the Independent and the Times Literary Supplement, it is not merely a sheaf of disinterred cuttings. Its distinguishing feature is the abundant new material which links the pieces, evolving far beyond the function of connective tissue. The effect is rather as if a DJ’s between-song patter had unexpectedly become as dynamic as the dancefloor-filling hits themselves . . . Phrasing and analysis never fall below a level of shimmering fastidious excellence’ — Sight and Sound

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Adam Mars-Jones is Research Professor in Creative Writing at Goldsmiths, University of London. He was the first film reviewer for the Independent (1986-1997) and currently writes on film for the Times Literary Supplement. His books include the novels Pilcrow (2008) and Cedilla (2011), and the 2015 memoir Kid Gloves (2015).

My Independence
Alien3 (1992)
Strange Days (1995)
Schindler’s List (1993)
‘Thirteen Spielbergs’ (2016)
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017)
‘Slavish “Independents”’ (1999)
Safe (1995)
Cinematically Challenged (1996)
Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)
Toy Story (1996)
‘Being and Viscousness’ (2017)
Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)
Henri-Georges Clouzot’s Inferno (2009)
Twister (1996)
Logan Lucky (2017)
Downsizing (2017)
Roma (2018)
Sauvage (2019)
Quiet, Please (2004)
Prospero’s Books (1991)
The Draughtsman’s Contract (1982, re-released 1994)
Distant Voices, Still Lives (1988)
The Long Day Closes (1992)
A Quiet Passion (2016)
Maps to the Stars (2014)
Short Cuts (1994)
Kansas City (1996)
A Prairie Home Companion (2006)
Blue Velvet (1986, re-released 2016)
The Straight Story (1999)
‘Ode to Richard Farnsworth’ (2011)
‘Fighting the Seven Signs of Ageing’ (2015)
Amour (2012)
Coda: Second Sight