Book review from The Movie Snob
God, Man & Hollywood: Politically Incorrect Cinema from The Birth of a Nation to The Passion of the Christ, by Mark Royden Winchell (ISI Books 2008). I enjoy reading about movies almost as much as watching them, as my bookshelves will attest. This is a collection of essays about several movies that Winchell takes to be “politically incorrect,” meaning out of whack with the cultural attitudes that are fashionable in Hollywood, plus a chapter of very short synopses of 100 additional politically incorrect films. Admittedly, I did not read the whole thing–like I usually do with collections of this sort, I read only the pieces about movies I’ve already seen or will probably never see, so as to avoid spoilers about the ones I will probably catch one of these days. As for the ones I read, I thought they were enjoyable and well-written. I’m not sure Winchell really delivered on the dust jacket’s promise–to reveal “the surprisingly politically incorrect notions at the heart of eighteen classic films”–because I never really felt like I had been hit with any particularly surprising insights. But I enjoyed his essays regardless.