cover image Cinema Year by Year (Revised 2002)

Cinema Year by Year (Revised 2002)

DK Publishing. DK Publishing (Dorling Kindersley), $50 (988pp) ISBN 978-0-7894-9068-1

An updated edition of the 1995 original Chronicle of the Cinema, this reverential reference offers a year-by-year timeline of cinema's high-water marks in the form of copious film stills, movie posters and thumbnail reports-like a ""scrapbook of newspaper cuttings from the history of film""-in the panting voice of editorial hype. Each year nets less than 10 pages of material, laid out in sometimes crowded spreads, with a few breakout chapters on subjects such as special effects and the rise of independent filmmaking. The enthusiastic tone sometimes outpaces the research, particularly in realms outside studio-based common knowledge (the movie Swoon, by Tom Kalin, for instance, is mistakenly attributed to Todd Haynes), and overall the information is uncritical to the point of sounding like a giant press release. To its credit, though, as another entry in the gushing stream of Hollywood boosterism, full of familiar notions such as the studio-as-dream-factory, stars-as-royalty and art-as-commerce, this one is more charmingly real in its affections than most.