A
Literary Saloon
&
Site of Review.

Trying to meet all your book preview and review needs.



Contents:
Main
the Best
the Rest
Review Index
Links

weblog

crQ

RSS

to e-mail us:


support the site


buy us books !
Amazon wishlist



In Association with Amazon.com


In association with Amazon.com - UK


In association with Amazon.ca - Canada


In 
Partnerschaft 
mit 
Amazon.de


En 
partenariat 
avec 
amazon.fr

the Complete Review
the complete review - film



Borges in/and/on Film

by
Edgardo Cozarinsky


general information | our review | links | about the author

To purchase Borges in/and/on Film



Title: Borges in/and/on Film
Author: Edgardo Cozarinsky
Genre: Non-fiction
Written: 1980 (Eng. 1988)
Length: 117 pages
Original in: Spanish
Availability: Borges in/and/on Film - US
Borges in/and/on Film - UK
Borges in/and/on Film - Canada
  • Spanish title: Borges en/y/sobre cinema
  • Translated by Gloria Waldman and Ronald Christ
  • Includes seventeen of Borges' film reviews
  • With a Prologue by Adolfo Bioy-Casares
  • A previous version, Borges y el cine, was published in 1974

- Return to top of the page -



Our Assessment:

B : useful collection

See our review for fuller assessment.




The complete review's Review:

       Borges in/and/on Film is a small guide to the relation of cinema and Borges' own life and work. An essay by Cozarinsky gives a good overview, while the rest of the volume collects Borges' own writings on film , as well as offering descriptions of films made of Borges' work, as well as those that have been influenced by it. Already somewhat dated, and fairly cursory, it nevertheless is a useful guide for the Borges-fan. (Missing, however, is, for example, any mention or discussion of one of Borges' final projects, a screenplay for the benefit of the Venice in Peril Fund he was working on at the time of his death.)
       The centrepiece of the collection is Borges' own writings on film -- mainly reviews written for SUR in the 1930s. The reviews are more curiosities than important texts: generally several films are discussed in each, and often little more than a paragraph is devoted to a film. Judgements are summary, explanations limited. Nevertheless, there are some nuggets here, and it is of interest to see what Borges so succinctly addresses in these pieces.
       Many notable films of the 1930s are discussed, and not just American ones. Borges generally quickly cuts to the heart of the matter -- and expects some familiarity with cinema from his audience ("It is so bad that it deserves the signature of René Clair", he writes of one German film). He is often devastating in his criticism, as when he reviews Josef von Sternberg's Dostoevsky-adaptation, Crime and Punishment:

For this film, von Sternberg has renounced his customary marottes. Unfortunately, he has not replaced them with anything. (...) Formerly, he seemed mad, which at least is something; now, merely simple-minded.
       Hitchcock, Welles, Chaplin, Eisenstein, and many other major and minor directors are discussed -- all too briefly and quickly, but nevertheless with some interesting insights and observations (and, often, clever turns of phrases). It's clear that Borges was a film critic -- and one ahead of his time: he could even pass for one nowadays, his style (if not quite so compressed) one that often sounds contemporary.
       The discussion of Borges' influence on filmmakers, especially the French directors of the 1960s as well as Nicolas Roeg, is also of interest, though probably more so to true movie-fans (rather than Borges-fans). (The great Nic Roeg's first name is, unfortunately, consistently misspelt (as 'Nicholas' rather than the correct 'Nicolaus').)
       The brief descriptions and discussions of Borges-adaptations are also of some interest, though this is the one section that might usefully be expanded -- not only to be up to date, but also offering fuller descriptions.

       A useful, entertaining little volume, which should certainly be of interest to Borges fans.

- Return to top of the page -



Links:

Borges in/and/on Film: Jorge Luis Borges: Other books of interest under review: Other books of interest under review:
  • See Index of Film-related books

- Return to top of the page -



About the Author:

       Argentine-born Edgardo Cozarinsky has directed several movies and written several books.

- Return to top of the page -


© 2004-2010 the complete review

Main | the New | the Best | the Rest | Review Index | Links