Harlan Ellison's Watching
Most overviews of film are written from some high, sunlit mountaintop. In this first collection of Harlan Ellison's cinema criticism (with expanded, never-before-collected articles as well as an essay written especially for this volume) come from the darkened interiors of a thousand movie houses where this most peculiar of all Observers of the Passing Scene has spent much...more
Reading this book was like being cornered at a cocktail party by an opinionated blowhard who has to tell me in a loud voice everything he thinks is wrong with the current state of cinema. ...more
Who better to tell us what he really thinks about movies, especially science fiction (never, ever "Sci Fi", please!) movies? Who b ...more
If you liked the biopic "Dreams With Sharp Teeth," you'll like this book. Ellison was the same prickly guy in the 70s and the 80s that he is today.
If you thought the 1970s "Star Wars" trilogy was the tritest of trite plots lamely supported by then-state-of-the-art special effects, b ...more
One: One may make an attempt to establish a persona, appealing to a specific fan-base, and thus write their reviews in such a way to appeal specifically to that fan-base, despite how they actually view a film.
Two: One may make a valid attempt to objectively view each film their review, through some sort of imaginary, impartial lens, in attempt to lend "credence" to their reviews, and thus becoming ...more
In the 1970’s Harlan Ellison published “The Glass Teat” a compilation of his articles he published in the L.A. Free Press. The articles were a critical assessment of television of the period and they became instant classics. “The Glass Teat” became part of the curriculum at numerous colleges and their media departments. In “Watching” Ellison takes his critical and rhetorical skills to the movies.
“Watching” covers a much broader span of time than “The Glass Te ...more
The fiction is secondary to me. I love the criticism, and journalism. That's where I hear his voice most clear. The man is singular. The writing is stellar. The time spent reading his work is an investment.
He's done the screenplays for various movies to varying degrees of quality, and he's honest about that, which gives him MAD credibility points with me (self-effacing is the path to free, open blasting of others). He blasts movies on the premise that, if they're bad, they've lied to you and sucked the very life out of your existence and should be punished. He's got lots of backstage ...more
Written during the period Ellison was the in house reviewer for Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, his deity like status within SF gave him free reign. Much like the D.F.Wallace essays about a Lynch film I reviewed recently, the author's killer wit and occasional genius are on display, but he also was in desperate need of an editor.
Through self-aggrandizing diarrhea we can extract that Ellison thought highly of Dune, forgiving its oper ...more
Ellison is ...more
But what I bought the book for, and the reason I'd recommend it, is for his pieces about the rise and fall of David Ly ...more
His literary and television work has received many awards. He wrote for the original series of both The Outer Limits and Star Trek as well as The Alfred Hitchcock Hour; edited the multiple-award-winning short story anthology series Dangerous Visions; and served as creative consultant/writ ...more