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!Free Epub ☧ Flicker ⚖ 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 history of the movies a tale of intrigue, deception, and death that stretches back to the th 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,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 him 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 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 Flicker pissed me off Why 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 snobby sophistication, scholarly intelligence, critics, conspiracy theories, name dropping, detailed technological descriptions And yet despite all this and a prolonged and yes, masterful suspense, F Flicker pissed me off Why 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 snobby sophistication, scholarly intelligence, critics, conspiracy theories, name dropping, detailed technological descriptions 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 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. 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 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 young film student at UCLA in the early sixties who becomes enad with the films of little known director from the 1930s 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 Darkness, that 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 inthan 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 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 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 the culture of following generations which is vapid, hollow, and immoral, and he WON T STOP BRAYING ABOUT IT The last half of the book consists of endless variations on hey you kids get off my lawn A particularly painful aspect of this novel is that Roszak managed to create a group of teenage characters who are evencringe inducing than poor, sweet Madeleine L Engle s hopeless teen gang in The Young Unicorns 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 yeah, but that s not the part you re supposed to miss, dude To add onecomplaint, this book also embraces the belief that the most terrifying thing to academic white guys is a sexualized black guy Alas, Mandingo.Grade D for dreadfulRecommended You know, I have heard of people loving this book, and I don t get it If you ignore the sexism and the terrible fake Roth sex scenes, it s pretty damn good, especially the last two or three chapters. Disappointing 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 1 Roszak fundamentally misunderstands the evolution of culture in the 20th Disappointing 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 1 Roszak fundamentally misunderstands the evolution of culture in the 20th century s second half, getoffmylawnishly lamenting the decline in taste that was actually the radical trailblazing of 60s 70s film 2 did he really think anyone would care about some dumb HISTORICAL INTRIGUE concerning SECRET RELIGIOUS ORDERS using movies to TAKE OVER THE WORLD or whatever Such lame plottiness overtakes the book somewhere around the halfway point There is also an inexplicable surfeit of ridiculous misogynistic sex scenes 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 Roszak loves film he s forgottenabout 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 Roszak loves film he s forgottenabout 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 , 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, captivating 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 Zeroville , Steve Erickson s 2007 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 Angeles 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 Amnesiascope , I d have completed the Erickson canon in preparation for this newest excursion into elusive identity, sexuality, and temporality within the L.A Basin In any event, the combination of the supernatural or the uncanny with cult cinema is a match made in literary heaven, a concept just dying to be executed in a first rate fashion This doubtless is what heightened my disappointment with Flicker,because I was so eminently stoked heading into it what with all of the requisite elements having been tantalizingly trumpeted upon the back cover and rather quickly underwhelmed Totally engrossing 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 Fantastic The main character is left to an incredibly cruel fate, which is the only choice in which I disagree with the author here Have you ever read a book that goes on so long, yet is so juiced to the gills with information that you feel nauseous afterwards That s how this book made me feel But man, what a ride it was If you don t like your books to be overly talky, this might not be for you There are no train heists or explosions Lipsky s funeral only sort of counts Instead, aquiet, grad The main character is left to an incredibly cruel fate, which is the only choice in which I disagree with the author here Have you ever read a book that goes on so long, yet is so juiced to the gills with information that you feel nauseous afterwards That s how this book made me feel But man, what a ride it was If you don t like your books to be overly talky, this might not be for you There are no train heists or explosions Lipsky s funeral only sort of counts Instead, aquiet, gradual menace is threaded throughout the story It s a menace that points back to the Cathars, Knights Templar, etc But don t mistake this for Da Vinci Code Actually, another problem I had with the book was the main character s penchant for savaging B Movies, i.e Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Troma, Bucket of Blood Didn t care for his scathing, condescending tone when forced to sit through these types of movies It felt unbecoming of a protagonist I m supposed to root for, but he was, after all, a film critic, and who really listens to film critics