Slow Writing Frieze Review

The first review of “Slow Writing: Thom Andersen on Cinema” has appeared in the October 2017 issue of Friezeand is authored by Nick Pinkerton. Frieze subscribers can access the review online

“Because he has never made a living as a writer, Andersen has been free to pursue a criticism of enthusiasms, though one gets a sense of how much in commercial cinema fails to meet his standards. There is a stern loftiness in his authorial voice that makes me want to quibble with his conclusions even when I happen to agree with them. Yet, Andersen’s killjoy persona is hard to square with the man who, in The Thoughts That Once We Had, pays tribute to Maria Montez in Robert Siodmak’s South Seas fantasia Cobra Woman. Andersen rebuts one reviewer’s judgement of his film’s ‘tiresomely doctrinaire; and ‘quaint’ Leftism by noting that the audience at its public screening was a young one, and I think there’s much evidence that overtly ideologically grounded criticism of the sort Andersen practises is far from dated. […]

“In his review of the 2004 book The Whole Equation: A History of Hollywood by David Thomson – a figure identified in the voice-over of Los Angeles Plays Itself of loving ‘everything about America except what’s worth loving’ – Andersen states that Thomson’s books ‘are fun to argue with.’ This is high praise of a kind that Slow Writing deserves. Andersen’s book is periodically brilliant and rarely less than absorbing; even, or perhaps especially, when you’re thinking about booting it across the room. It makes for a fine companion – and a worthy, vigorous opponent.”

—– Nick Pinkerton, Frieze, No. 190, October 2017