Chuck Maland’s edition of James Agee’s movie reviews and criticism has been published by the University of Tennessee Press
The University of Tennessee Press has just published Chuck Maland’s edition of James Agee’s movie writings called Complete Film Criticism: Reviews, Essays, Manuscripts, for which he also wrote a historical introduction about Agee’s career as a movie reviewer in the 1940s for Time and The Nation. The volume contains all of Agee’s film columns that appeared in the Nation magazine and—for the first time—all of the reviews and essays he wrote for Time magazine, including cover story essays on such movie figures as Gregory Peck, Greer Garson, Laurence Olivier, and Hedda Hopper. It also includes all of Agee’s other published writing on movies—like his famous essay on silent film comedy called “Comedy’s Greatest Era”--and a number of previously unpublished essays on the movies, discovered in the Agee papers in special collections at the University of Texas and the University of Tennessee. In 1944 the British poet W. H. Auden praised the “astonishing excellence” of Agee’s film columns in the Nation, calling the column the “most remarkable regular event in American journalism today.” Published by the University of Tennessee Press as a part of its ongoing series, The Complete Works of James Agee, the book is the fifth volume to appear; the series will eventually contain eleven or twelve volumes.
If you would like to learn a little more about this movie review collection and the adventure of putting it together, Dr. Maland wrote a short piece for David Bordwell’s Website on Cinema blog (found here)-- and also did a radio interview with Todd Steed of WUOT that’s available here.