by Stephen M. Ringler
Check out the film section of any bookstore and you'll find several books chockfull of quotations -- great lines from classic movies, bad lines from turkeys, hard-boiled quips from crime dramas, etc. Now vying for space on bookstore shelves is a new book titled A Dictionary of Cinema Quotations from Filmmakers and Critics.
While most books of this variety are fun to thumb through but hardy useable as reference books, this new book compiled by Stephen M. Ringler is categorized and indexed so that you can quickly locate quotations to fit just about any situation. The book is divided into sections such as "genre," "screenwriting," "production design," "acting," "editing," "critics," and many others, and the indexes at the back of the book let you search for quotations by source names, movie titles, and keywords. You'll find over 3,400 quotations packed into this book, from the familiar (Alfred Hitchcock: "Cinema is life with the boring bits cut out") to the sublime (V.I. Pudovkin: "The lens of the movie camera can be likened to the eye of an attentive observer who sees only what we wants to see at any given moment"). You'll find quotations from John Waters, Jean-Luc Godard, Andrew Sarris, Orson Welles, W.C. Fields, Stephen Spielberg, Walt Disney, Sam Goldwyn, Howard Hawks, and over 1,800 additional film people.
Unfortunately for film fans, however, A Dictionary of Cinema Quotations carries a hefty price tag -- $45. As we can expect from McFarland & Company publications, this book has an excellent illustrated case binding that will withstand heavy-duty use -- meaning it will fit in perfectly on library shelves -- but for individual buyers the price tag is hard to justify. If you have the money, however, A Dictionary of Cinema Quotations is arguably the best book of its kind ever published.
A Dictionary of Cinema Quotations from Filmmakers and Critics, compiled and edited by Stephen M. Ringler, is now available from McFarland & Company. Illustrated case binding. Suggested list price: $45. For more information, please check out the McFarland Web site: www.mcfarlandpub.com.