Shots in the Dark
Writings on Film by Jonathan Baumbach

Preface by Philip Lopate


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Shots in the Dark collects all of novelist and critic Jonathan Baumbach’s writings on film together for the first time. Includes major essays on directors such as Jean-Luc Godard, Michelangelo Antonioni, Orson Welles, Brian De Palma and Robert Bresson, an autobiographical reflection on how his cinephilia has influenced his writing, a set visit to the debut film directed by his son Noah Baumbach, a consideration of fellow critic Pauline Kael, and a film-inspired poem written toward the end of his life.

Cinema / Photography, Theory / History / Criticism
“With this welcome collection, Jonathan Baumbach, known for his wry, take-no-prisoners experimental fiction, is revealed in retrospect to have been a brilliant film critic. In an era bristling with formidable commentators on the movies, Baumbach, we see now, was one of the sharpest. Writing for quarterlies such as Film Culture and Partisan Review, he could absent himself from the hype-manufacturing competition of daily/weekly reviewers, and weigh in with thoughtful, elegant prose, astute judgment and a dose of skepticism after the initial hoopla had died down… His film criticism brings us into the healing presence of a fully evolved, lively intelligence. We are grateful to have this scintillating and engaging and long-overdue collection.”—Philip Lopate, from his Preface to Shots in the Dark.

Jonathan Baumbach (1933-2019) was an American author, academic and film critic.

192 pages
Paperback, 11.43x20.3 cm
Cat Thread Books, 1st edition 2019
ISBN 9780999468340