Movies – they can enthrall us through the imitation of life, transport us to another time and place, change us and our culture. In his new book, The Big Screen: The Story of the Movies and What They Did to Us, David Thomson tells the story of the movies and how, by offering a seductive escape from the everyday reality and its responsibilities, the medium has made it possible for us to evade life altogether. At first, film was a waking dream, escape delivered for a nickel. But soon, and abruptly, movies began transforming our society and our perceptions of the world. Taking us around the globe, through time and across multiple media, Thomson tracks the ways in which early films and their stars showed us how to live, and how the medium rose, its influence spread, and then declined to a form, which some say, is merely entertainment.
Monday, October 29th, Rare Bird Lit and KPCC hosted Thomson in conversation with film critic Richard Schickel at the Crawford Family Forum to talk about film’s grand adventure and ask, “Does the big screen still push our perspective of the world, or merely entertain?”