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BOOK
Time Out Film Guide
14th Edition 2006

Editor: John Pym
Ebury Press
RRP 22.50, US $34.95, Cdn $49.00
ISBN 1904978 48 7
Available 06 October 2005


A compilation of critical guidance to nearly a century of feature films, the Time Out Film Guide 2006 offers unrivalled coverage of international cinema, Hollywood and Bollywood, blockbusters, forgotten marvels, silent films, documentary and esoterica. This annual, essential for any cinephile, is packed with objective, concise and informed comment on the very widest range of movies, all written by knowledgeable critics with a genuine love of film...

The 14th Edition of Time Out's Film Guide is a monster of a publication. There are a total of 1768 pages devoted to just about every movie ever made. This years (2006's) edition includes more than 800 movie additions; an expanded actors' directory; and enriched coverage of European, Asian and documentary cinema.

As you can probably imagine, there isn't much space devoted to each film. All you get is a brief synopsis and then a middle-of-the-road critique (although occasionally there is short feature dedicated to the odd film). While this is fine for checking out whether a movie's worth watching when it's repeated on TV, it's not going to be overly useful to film students, or anyone who wants a deep and probing publication. This is more likely to be used in order to discover what other films an actor/director has been involved with and then using some other source to find more detailed information.

In summing up, this is about the most authoritative printed guide to cinema on the planet. As long as you're happy to make do with just a synopsis and a very short critique on each movie, you'll find this to be an essential guide for any movie buff. However, bearing in mind that websites like IMDB provide an exhaustible supply of constantly updated information for free, you do have to ask yourself whether you've got room on your shelf for a publication that provides inferior information to that which can be found for free on the Internet.

Nick Smithson

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