Friday, September 5, 2014

Blossoms & Blood Reviews

Two more strong reviews for Blossoms & Blood . . .

First off, Cineaste had in part this to say in the latest issue:

"'Blossoms & Blood,' Jason Sperb’s very strong new book, doesn’t so much argue the case for PTA’s greatness as show, slowly and methodically, how he moved through and within the ranks of American filmmaking—a case study of how even the most self-determined directors are always borne aloft by cultural currents. . . . Addressing Anderson’s generally polarizing films in measured, reflective tones rather than the sort of over-heated rhetoric that appeals to both his fans and detractors—and the success of 'There Will Be Blood' forced a good number of critics to double down on their misgivings alongside a wave of grateful converts—allows Sperb to retain a certain authority even as he admits that his findings are largely provisional . . . If one of Sperb’s clear models for 'Blossoms & Blood' is Robert Kolker’s 'A Cinema of Loneliness'—merely the finest book on commercial American filmmakers published in the last thirty years—then hopefully, like Kolker, he’ll get a chance to revise his findings in a follow-up edition."

Meanwhile, Choice had this to say:

"Sperb's thorough, well-written book covers Anderson's work from Hard Eight (1996) to The Master (2012), although the author discusses the later film only in the conclusion because his text and Anderson's final film appeared at the same time. . . . . Sperb has complete mastery of the critical reviews and industrial histories of the films, and it would be easy to take the films up with a more theoretical view, based on what is offered here. Major themes (masculinity, media culture, random chance) are established and pursued, chapter to chapter, and readers come away with a thorough understanding of Anderson's films. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Undergraduates to faculty; cinephiles."

Onward and upward.