Well, it’s all there in the title really, here cartoonist/illustrator/film-buff Edward Ross takes a tour through cinema, painting himself into the picture in a narrator-role occasionally, but most often delighting in drawing up key scenes from iconic movies. Filmish is divided into seven thematic studies, seven chapters that grapple with a different aspect of film and film-theory; Ross’ own thoughts are footnoted by critics and film historians’ views, there’s everything from on-the-street opinion to vaunted academia.
So, through The Eye, The Body, Sets and Architecture, Time, Voice and Language, Power and Ideology, Technology & Technophobia we travel on this graphic journey. All of the classic films you’d expect are referenced and a few cult-classics too, though it’s mostly Hollywood-derived fare of course we also get some nods to European and Japanese cinema, particularly when they’ve been influential on (and then ripped off by) Hollywood.
Ross’ drawings are wonderful – but this would be of use, and interest, were it simply a text book. It’s brimming with information and opinion and nicely walks the line between the two.
A book to enjoy in one or two sittings – but also one to revisit, or savour over time, Filmish would make a perfect gift for the film-buff in your life. And also seems like the sort of treat-book one would buy as a gift to themselves. It would work as a great entry into the world of graphic non-fiction, I’m sure, since the material here is primarily of interest to film fans.