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Suave and Sophisticated: The English Detective in Film

February 5, 2014

Author and film critic David Thomson will discuss Suave and Sophisticated: The English Detective in Film at 7:00 pm on Wednesday, February 5, at the Livermore Public Library Civic Center, 1188 S. Livermore Avenue.  There is no charge for this event.
David Thomson is recognized as the foremost film writer of our times, “the greatest living film critic and historian” according to Benjamin Schwarz and many others (Atlantic Monthly).  He will acquaint us with the suave, sophisticated and usually polite English detective, as portrayed in crime films.  Critics and colleagues, moviegoers and review-readers all continue to reach for David Thomson as the final word on film. His breadth of knowledge, candor, insight and devastating wit make learning about the cinema at least as much fun as watching whichever film David Thomson happens to be highlighting.
Born and raised in London, David Thomson won a scholarship to attend private school and after graduation enrolled in the London School of Film Technique—  the only such school in Britain at that time. A risky move, certainly, and many urged Oxford, the expected choice —  but it’s a risk that has since led David Thomson to a remarkable career as a film historian and writer. David Thomson is a contributor to the New York Times, Film Comment, Movieline, New Republic, and Salon. He has acted as screenwriter for the award-winning documentary The Making of a Legend: Gone with the Wind, taught film studies at Dartmouth College and served on the selection committee for the New York Film Festival.
David Thomson is also an accomplished author with more than 20 books to his name. He has been the biographer of Orson Welles and Nicole Kidman and has written a history of Hollywood titled, The Whole Equation. Most notably David Thomson is the creator and complier of The New Biographical Dictionary of Film, which is lauded as the first (and best) reference book of its kind for the film world.  “As grand and eccentric as Samuel Johnson’s dictionary,” according to Tom Shone of the New York Observer, and everyone seems to agree as this staple is soon going into a fifth, updated edition. The companion volume of sorts “Have You Seen…  ?” shares David Thomson’s eclectic reviews of the 1,000 movies to see,  and most recently he has shared his own childhood in post-World War II London with Try to Tell the Story:  A Memoir.
This program is part of Livermore Reads Together 2014, a community-wide reading program featuring Laurie R. King’s The Beekeeper’s Apprentice.   The community of Livermore is encouraged to join their neighbors by participating in the Livermore Reads Together events for children and adults during the month of February 2014. Copies of books and event schedules are available at all Livermore Public Library locations.  Livermore Reads Together is generously sponsored by The Friends of the Livermore Library.