Flicker (Rediscovered Classics) [Theodore Roszak] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. From the golden age of art movies and underground. Jonathan Gates doesn’t set out to uncover the secret history of the movies – a tale of intrigue, deception and death that stretches back to the fourteenth. I had very mixed feelings about Flicker. It’s a great read, with some wonderfully memorable characters and lots of interesting detail about the film world in the.
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Flicker (novel) – Wikipedia
From the golden age of art movies and underground cinema to X-rated porn, splatter films, and midnight movies, this breathtaking thriller is a tour de force of cinematic fact and fantasy, full of metaphysical mysteries that will haunt the dreams of every moviegoer. Jonathan Gates could not have anticipated that his student studies would lead him to uncover the secret histo From the golden age of art movies and underground cinema to X-rated porn, splatter films, and midnight movies, this breathtaking thriller is a tour de force of cinematic fact and fantasy, full of metaphysical mysteries flidker will haunt the dreams of every moviegoer.
Jonathan Gates could theovore have anticipated that his student studies would lead him to uncover the secret history of the movies—a tale of intrigue, deception, and death that stretches back to the 14th century. But he succumbs to what will be a lifelong obsession with the mysterious Max Castle, a nearly forgotten genius of the silent screen who later became the greatest director of horror films, only to vanish in the s, at the height of his talent.
Now, 20 years later, as Jonathan seeks the truth behind Castle’s disappearance, the innocent entertainments of his youth—the sexy sirens, the screwball comedies, the high romance—take on a sinister appearance.
His tortured quest takes tbeodore from Hollywood’s Poverty Row into the shadowy lore of ancient religious heresies. He encounters a cast of exotic characters, including Orson Welles and John Huston, who teach him that there’s more to film than meets the eye, and journeys through the dark side of nostalgia, where the Three Stooges and Shirley Temple join company with an alien god whose purposes are anything but entertainment.
Paperbackpages. Published April 1st by Chicago Review Press first published Los Angeles, California United States. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Flickerplease sign up.
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Lists with This Book. Apr 06, Sheila rated it really liked it Shelves: Despite a troubling and dated narrative voice and an off-the-rails ending, I greatly enjoyed this book about hidden film imagery and religious conspiracy. He’s a curmudgeon I’m blending the author and narrator together, which I think in this case is fair.
He represents the very worst of baby boomer patriarchy. The only women important in this book are ones that sleep with the narr 4 stars “I really liked it”. Modern culture is, according to the narrator, literally destroying humanity; MTV and John Waters movies are soon going to have us all grunting like cavemen. Sometimes the plot is interrupted so the narrator can go on multiple-page rants about “kids these days. I don’t think this is done on purpose to create a character, either–I get the feeling this is the author’s voice.
This book is also slow paced. I enjoyed each revelation about sadly fictional Max Castle and his filmography, but I can see why some readers thought it boring.
Flicker | Theodore Roszak | No Exit Press
And, like many conspiracy novels, you have to really suspend your disbelief. I was willing to do that because I have a weakness for stories about cults and fringe religious zealots, but this book is pretty over the top. I love it because it’s so ridiculous.
What I especially enjoyed were the lengthy descriptions of the films–especially the subliminal and symbolic elements.
I also loved the religious iconography and the slow reveal about the cult and its plans. Overall I greatly enjoyed this book. This is a good addition to the sub-genre of thrillers about movies, along with Night FilmExperimental Filmand Syndrome E. I just watched Videodrome for the first time and this book really wants to be that movie.
I am a sucker for this kind of story, however. But it is truly a paragon of the “lone investigator gets in over his head” genre.
View all 7 comments. Sep 23, Becca Balistreri rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: Theodore Roszak knows film and loves it – the technology, the history, the benchmarks. The mystery he devises is complex, believable, and eerie. Every time I see a film, I think for a moment about the implications of his book. Just keep telling yourself – it’s all just a story.
Oct 27, Chloe rated it really liked it Recommends it for: Films freaks and Conspiracy Junkies. If, rather than setting his tales in French bookstores or secluded Italian monasteries, Umberto Eco focused his paranoia about secret societies on the world of film, Flicker is the book that he would write. Crammed to overflowing with film lore and history, Flicker is both a crash course in film theory and a horrifying thriller that makes itself known not through any blood and gore but a very tangible creeping dread that suffuses nearly every page.
Flicker follows the life of Jonathon Gates, a yo If, rather than setting his tales in French bookstores or secluded Italian monasteries, Umberto Eco focused his paranoia about secret societies on the world of film, Flicker is the book that he would write. Flicker follows the life of Jonathon Gates, a young film student at UCLA in the early sixties who becomes enamored with the films of little known director from the s named Max Castle.
While his films are nothing special, B movies of the worst sort filmed with little budget and no name actors destined for late night television airings, Gates finds something hidden within the director’s films that points to a talent, and an underlying philosophy, that compels him to search for the source of who Castle was and why his films are still cutting edge works of art over thirty years later.
This search sends Gates on a quest for Castle’s final film, a horrifyingly dark adaptation of Heart of Darknessthat sends Gates flying around the globe from Orson Welles’ dinner table to a Swiss orphanage run by a mysterious religious sect to a grindhouse theater in a dank in more than one sense of the word basement.
What Gates discovers as he peels away the layers of mystery surrounding Castle is a world on the brink of extinction and a populace clamoring for a hell on earth that makes Castle’s films appear as benign as Shirley Temple. A well-paced read that should delight both lovers of noir detective stories and old school fans of art house cinema, Flicker is a book that will grab hold of you and not let go until the final frame is finished. Nov 03, Sonia rated it it was amazing Shelves: Flicker pissed me off.
Because it was too long, too suspenseful, and I didn’t have a whole lot of free time for reading this week. Impatient to unravel the mystery, I stayed up late, I arose early just to find out what the hell was going to happen! The book is filled with crap I love to hate: And yet despite all this and a prolonged and yes, masterful suspense, F Flicker pissed me off.
And yet despite all this and a prolonged and yes, masterful suspense, Flicker was compelling. This book had a hold on me and even now at it’s completion, it won’t let go. I loved the beginning, I loved the ending, and although the middle left me frustrated, it was only because I so eagerly wanted to solve the great mystery of Castle’s work. Aug 25, Moira Russell rated it liked it Shelves: If you ignore the sexism and the terrible fake Roth sex scenes, it’s pretty damn good, especially the last two or three chapters.
Dec 27, Elizabeth K. Oy gevalt, this was terrible. The set-up was intriguing — Templar-esque conspiracy has been hiding secret subliminal messages in films. Especially at the beginning of the book, the whole classic film culture is so very present that if you are a film history fan at all it’s very easy to get sucked in.
Then, it takes a turn for the annoying. Essentially, the authorial voice seems to be an old guy who maintains that the culture of his youth was insightful, poignant and significant, in contrast to Oy gevalt, this was terrible. The last half of the book consists of endless variations on “hey you kids get off my lawn! Just completely missing the mark with capturing any sense of a believable youth experience, it’s like a paranoid fantasy of mohawks and bad grammar. The cherry on top of all this is that he also communicates a palpable nostalgia for the misogynistic, anti-Semitic, and homophobic days of golden age Hollywood as opposed to now, I guess.
I suspect he would defend that choice by claiming that Hollywood was misogynistic, anti-Semitic, and homophobic To add one more complaint, this book also embraces the belief that the most terrifying thing to academic white guys is a sexualized black guy. D for dreadful Recommended: You know, I have heard of people loving this book, and I don’t get it.
Nov 01, Krok Zero rated it it was ok Shelves: Please read Steve Erickson’s brilliant Zeroville instead. Zeroville is one of the most profound statements ever made about the cinema; Flicker is a silly, overlong Da Vinci Code —esque thriller disguised poorly as a profound statement about the cinema.
Early chapters limning the world of late ’50s cinephilia and the oeuvre of a fictional German director are rather interesting, but problems quickly arise: Such lame plottiness overtakes the book somewhere around the halfway point.
Also the writing is stilted and prosaic; it’s clear Roszak is an academic, not a real novelist. But seriously, read Zeroville — it is the masterpiece that this book doesn’t even come close to being.
View all 5 rsozak. Roszak loves film—he’s forgotten more about the movies than I could possibly ever know—and this passion throbs throughout the portions of Flicker that explore the cinematic history of early-modern Hollywood.
The entire conceit of a cult B-movie horror director, Max Castle, adumbrating within thwodore forgotten filmography the subliminal strains of a monstrous conspiracy—the evidence for which seeps forth from basement screenings, underground theatres, lusty ex-starlets, and German-accented film crew— Roszak loves film—he’s forgotten more about the movies than I could possibly ever know—and this passion throbs throughout the portions of Flicker that explore the cinematic history of early-modern Hollywood.
The entire conceit of a cult B-movie horror director, Max Castle, adumbrating within his forgotten filmography the subliminal strains of a monstrous conspiracy—the evidence for which seeps forth from basement screenings, underground theatres, lusty ex-starlets, and German-accented film crew—is the perfect setup for a nice, eerie little dalliance with the macabre realm of ancient evil.
Sadly, Roszak’s story eventually goes off the rails into the silly stuff. What’s more, his protagonist narrator is so utterly annoying, such a clueless clown, that his literary voice became nigh on intolerable before I had crested the two-hundred page mark.
Imaginative, theovore in stretches, sexy in an over-the-top, loudmouth manner—but ultimately failing to deliver the horror goods, or even consistently creepy entertainment, in an amount commensurate with the story’s raw potentiality. I am going to be eventually finding my way to ZerovilleSteve Erickson’s work that explores the Hollywood that could have been if the drugs flowed like tap-water and dimensional hiccoughs were a commonplace experience—or at least, that should be the case, if he holds at all to previous form.
Speaking of the Los Flickwr maestro of eerie moodiness, he has a new novel being released at the end of this month. If I somehow slipstreamed the first-named book above after AmnesiascopeI’d have completed the Erickson canon in preparation for this newest excursion into elusive identity, sexuality, and temporality within the L.