Author Spotlight

Gary Giddins

Gary Giddins is a critic and biographer who has written about jazz and film in such books as Visions of Jazz; Weather Bird: Jazz at the Dawn of Its Second Century; Satchmo; Celebrating Bird: The Triumph of Charlie Parker; Jazz (with Scott DeVeaux); Natural Selection; Warning Shadows: Home Alone with Classic Cinema; and his two-volume biography of Bing Crosby, Bing Crosby: A Pocketful of Dreams, the Early Years and Bing Crosby: Swinging on a Star, the War Years.

9 Results

The Devil Is in the Details
The Devil Is in the Details

During a period when studios gave him carte blanche, Josef von Sternberg created a sublime cinematic language that shrugged off one orthodoxy after another.

By Gary Giddins

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The Honeymoon Killers: Broken Promises
The Honeymoon Killers: Broken Promises

Rarely has schizophrenia been closer to the surface of American cinema than in the transitional period of 1968–71. Hollywood had just abandoned its censorship code after nearly thirty-five years, and the behemoth studios were heaving and rattling i…

By Gary Giddins

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La dolce vita: Tuxedos at Dawn
La dolce vita: Tuxedos at Dawn

Federico Fellini’s frantic tragicomedy is such a classic it risks being underestimated.

By Gary Giddins

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City Lights: The Immortal Tramp
City Lights: The Immortal Tramp

A boldly silent film in the talkie era, Charlie Chaplin’s masterpiece has a grace that has never been equaled.

By Gary Giddins

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Shadows: Eternal Times Square

Shadows: Eternal Times Square

As a film star, John Cassavetes embodied the kinetic, wild-eyed, insanely grinning villain. He seemed born to the role, with his volatile energy and dynamic outbursts, luminous yet curiously deadened eyes, wide-gaping mouth (David Thomson has likened…

By Gary Giddins

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Sweet Smell of Success: The Fantastic Falco
Sweet Smell of Success: The Fantastic Falco

It wasn’t intended. No one could have predicted it. But Sweet Smell of Success turned out to be a terminus where several movie genres and subgenres converged and curdled, producing a uniquely delicious perfume of everlasting cynicism. Inhale deep…

By Gary Giddins

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Loving Lola
Loving Lola

You can’t keep a good woman, or a great movie about a good woman, down. By all accounts, goodness in the real Lola Montez reflected the vagaries of character, not talent. She was, as Cosmo Brown says of Lina Lamont in Singin’ in the Rain, a tripl…

By Gary Giddins

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The Seventh Seal: There Go the Clowns
The Seventh Seal: There Go the Clowns

In recent years, The Seventh Seal has often been honored more for its historical stature than its prevailing vitality. Those who attended its first international rollout and were changed forever by the experience are now second-guessing their attachm

By Gary Giddins

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Still Curious

When Philip Roth’s Portnoy’s Complaint appeared in 1969, sending the intelligentsia into exegetical panic over masturbation and self-loathing, Roth remarked that his book was at present an event, but in time would be a novel. It did not take long…

By Gary Giddins