October 30, 7:30 pm: Film critic/historian David Thomson with Steve Erickson

David Thomson is a film critic, film historian, and cultural critic.  The New Biographical Dictionary of Film is a modern classic, and was voted by critics and writers to be the most valuable film book of all time. It also made it clear that David Thomson is one of the great film authorities of all time as well.  It’s a given that his Biographical Dictionary is a must-have to anyone who wants a quick reference to who-did-what-when in a movie or television show, despite the ubiquity and speed of IMDB.  That’s because Thomson’s writing is simply reductive to the bone, but infused with wit, immense historical knowledge and context.  His Biographical Dictionary is not subtle, and he makes his favorites known, and ridicules others, and we can agree to disagree on some of his assessments. Make no mistake—like any great critic, Thomson is more than a film historian and film reviewer, he is a social observer and analyst, with the keenest eye.  In his new sprawling work, The Big Screen, Thomson looks at film as the engine for massive social change in a number of ways.  He explores the art, the impact, the individuals,  and the commerce of the movies—and probes why and how some movies throughout film’s history have resonated, and how some didn’t.  While Thomson’s book is called The Big Screen, he includes television, mobile devices, and games too.  This is a most profound study of the industry that keeps LA rolling—and why.

Steve Erickson is an acclaimed Los Angeles-based  literary novelist who still writes film and television reviews for Los Angeles Magazine. He is the author of many novels, including the acclaimed These Dreams of You, which was published this year.  His film and music reviews at LA Weekly were as much social comment as film comment, and he weaves film into his novels, whether through the voice as a director, film editor, or screenwriter.  His novels earn praise from critics and the public alike, in addition to authors such as David Foster Wallace and Thomas Pynchon, and his recent novel, the great Zeroville, was voted a favorite by authors in a poll taken by the National Book Critics Circle.  Tickets, $20.  At the Goethe Institut, 5750 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles.  Plenty of bars and restaurants nearby. Ample street parking nearby, plus parking in the building after 6:00 pm.  For reservations, click here, or email us at reservations@writersblocpresents.com .