‘The Doubles,’ by Scott Esposito

To be a cinephile — as opposed to simply a fan of movies — is to be an addict of a kind, continually swooning, always in a state of delirium that only the luminous images of cinema seem capable of inducing. Or so Scott Esposito, in his collection of essays on cinema, “The Doubles,” would like us to feel, if not believe. “I adore the purity of film,” Esposito writes in his introduction, “but I am a writer. I must have ideas outside of things. It is in my blood. And, to be honest, I enjoy a little philosophy. I want to explain what I find in films, to show you how they have lived with me, to give voice to their implicit theories, to transform their visual texture into precise words. I love doing this. But there’s always that little voice insisting I should leave these cinematic ideas bound up in their images. I should let them be.” Esposito naturally isn’t going to let those images be, and his opening chapter lays out why, even though literature is now an also-ran compared with the power and reach of cinema, he is a “born writer” and will duly attempt […]

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