Totally, tenderly, tragically: essays and criticism from a lifelong love affair with the movies

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Anchor Books/Doubleday, Oct 20, 1998 - Fiction - 384 pages
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The essays in Phillip Lopate's new book record an ardent three-decades-plus love affair with the movies; like Michel Piccoli with Brigitte Bardot in Godard's "Contempt," he is "totally, tenderly, tragically" besotted with the cinema. Artfully braiding emotional and intellectual autobiography with critical and historical commentary, these essays exemplify and record a passionate engagement with an irreplaceable art form, its creators, and its critics. Lopate evaluates those filmmakers who have most affected him since his days as a nascent film cultist at Columbia: Antonioni, Godard, Bresson, Mizoguchi, Fassbinder, Ozu, and Visconti. He celebrates Andrew Sarris as the film critic who first won his heart and provides an eye-opening extended portrait and fondly skeptical critique of Pauline Kael, the most influential film writer of our time. And in essays such as "The Last Taboo: The Dumbing Down of American Movies, " he addresses the elusive question of whether movies can actually think. With his full-hearted affection and bracing intelligence, Phillip Lopate captures, as few others have, the insistent allure of films and filmgoing.

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Totally, tenderly, tragically: essays and criticism from a lifelong love affair with the movies

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Essayist Lopate (Portrait of My Body, LJ 7/96) is a lifelong movie fan, with a particular interest in foreign-language cinema. This collection, which begins with his student days at Columbia ... Read full review

Review: Totally, Tenderly, Tragically

User Review  - Patrick McCoy - Goodreads

I sought out Phillip Lopate's book of film criticism and essays, Totally Tenderly Tragically (1998), due to the fact that he wrote some engaging notes for the Criterion editions of Kenji Mizoguchi's ... Read full review


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About the author (1998)

Phillip Lopate was born in 1943 Brooklyn, New York in and received a B.A. from Columbia in 1964 and later a doctorate from the Union Graduate School in 1979. He spent twelve years working with children as a writer in schools, and taught creative writing and literature at Fordham, Cooper Union, University of Houston, and New York University. Currently, Lopate holds the Adams Chair at Hofstra University and he is also a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Among his many awards he has received a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, a New York Public Library Center for Scholars and Writers Fellowship, two National Endowment for the Arts grants, and two New York Foundation for the Arts grants. His work includes: These Eyes Don't Always Want to Stay Open (1972), Being With Children (1975), The Daily Round (1976), Confessions of Summer (1979), Bachelorhood: Tales of the Metropolis (1981), The Art of the Personal Essay (1995), Totally, Tenderly, Tragically (1998), Writing New York: A Literary Anthology (2000), Getting Personal (2003), Rudy Burckhardt: Life and Work (2004), Waterfront: A Journey Around Manhattan (2004), and American Movie Critics: An Anthology From the Silents Until Now (2006).

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