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Publisher's Summary

A Thousand Cuts is a candid exploration of one of America's strangest and most quickly vanishing subcultures. It is about the death of physical film in the digital era and about a paranoid, secretive, eccentric, and sometimes obsessive group of film-mad collectors who made movies and their projection a private religion in the time before DVDs and Blu-rays.

The book includes the stories of film historian/critic Leonard Maltin, TCM host Robert Osborne discussing Rock Hudson's secret 1970s film vault, RoboCop producer Jon Davison dropping acid and screening King Kong with Jefferson Airplane at the Fillmore East, and Academy Award-winning film historian Kevin Brownlow recounting his decades-long quest to restore the 1927 Napoleon.

Authors Dennis Bartok and Jeff Joseph examine the FBI's and Justice Department's campaign to harass, intimidate, and arrest film dealers and collectors in the early 1970s. Many of those persecuted were gay men. Victims included Planet of the Apes star Roddy McDowall, who was arrested in 1974 for film collecting and forced to name names of fellow collectors, including Rock Hudson and Mel Tormé.

A Thousand Cuts explores the obsessions of the colorful individuals who created their own screening rooms, spent vast sums, negotiated underground networks, and even risked legal jeopardy to pursue their passion for real, physical film.

The book is published by University Press of Mississippi.

©2016 University Press of Mississippi (P)2017 Redwood Audiobooks

Critic Reviews

"Best Film Books of 2016." ( Huffington Post)
"A real eye-opener...this book will provide a much-needed boost to the spirits of movie fans who fear that photographic film - the stuff that comes in rolls - is disappearing from our planet." ( Booklist)
"A great read for anyone interested in the underbelly of Hollywood." (Alison Martino, journalist for Los Angeles Magazine and Vintage Los Angeles)

What members say

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That's a wrap

This book is about movies.  Not in the pop culture sense but in the acquiring film on reels and watching them on a projector.  This book covers many collectors who most happen to be mostly of baby boomer age and had lots of time in their youth where they were left alone and found solace in the movies.  I picked up this book not because I am a movie buff or a collector.  I picked this up because I don't watch many movies at all.  In fact, I have never seen Star Wars.  

This book has many characters.  And some are larger than life.  Dealing film to Hugh Hefner (who was a big fan of playing movies) and many were harassed by the FBI.  Some of the men discussed knew each other, some loved working with each other, and some hated each other.  

Creative destruction - this was discussed with how VHS replaced film, and digital has replaced both.  But in order for things to progress the old is normally destroyed. Film doesn't always last.  Sometimes it turns to vinegar.  Sometimes people have spliced and taken out scenes of a movie.  Most people may not even notice.  But the guys in this book will.  Sometimes they collected really bad movies, and not for any other reason than to have the film.  

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  • Al
  • 02-25-18

Not My Cup Of Tea

As a fan of film, I expected this book to hold my interest. However it did not.
I was provided this audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator in exchange for an unbiased review via Audiobook Blast