The Altering Eye

The other day I was thinking about how, almost every time I open a book about movies, I learn something totally new. I know this is true of all books, but because movies are what I specialise in, a new name or a new title opens up a whole new avenue of exploration. You know, if it proves interesting beyond the first googling or a shufty through imdb. It doesn't always.

Today my copy of The Film Snob's Dictionary arrived from amazon and the first page I opened was about The Altering Eye, a fabled book about post-war European and Latin American cinema, written by Robert Kolker in 1983. Short version - we reacted to the influx of American cinema by using it's standards and themes to tell our own stories.

I had heard about it, but never read it. The dictionary called it a 'must-read snob book', so naturally I googled it. Glory be, although it's out of print for years, it's available online, unabridged, legitimately and free of charge here.


Pacze Moj said...

Thanks for introducing me to a new book. Double thanks for providing the link!

John P. Garry III said...

Dear Mr. McGuire,

Robert Kolker has been my favorite film scholar/critic since A Cinema of Loneliness came out in 1980. I highly recommend Kolker's 2000 edition of A Cinema of Loneliness.

The Altering Eye is certainly the best overview of post-war modernist/international cinema I've ever read.

If you desire a paper copy of The Altering Eye let me know, I occassionally find it in local used bookstores.

Best / John P. Garry III / Los Angeles, CA

Anonymous said...

The latering eye is online here:

Robert Kolker said...

Great to read these kind comments. I wanted to let you know that I've redesigned the online book to make it more readable. URLs are the same.

Robert Kolker

Alessandra said...

Hello! I would like to let you know that a new updated edition of Kolker's 'The Altering Eye' is now out. The digital version of this new edition will soon be available to read free of charge from GoogleBooks via our website
(; the paperback edition is priced at $19.95 and the
hardback edition at $37.95 (available from our website and all major retailers).
Alessandra Tosi
Openbookpublishers, Cambridge, UK