Film trivia book a blast for both cinephiles and novices

Ellen S. Cantrel

Spotlighting everything from silent films to the work of Michael Moore, “Movie Game Book: A Serious Pursuit Of Film Trivia” is a light read and party trivia in just 396 pages.

Written by screenwriter Pierre Murat and “Year in Cinema” author Michel Grisolia, the book features a wide variety of movie trivia amid short and colorful sections on various elements of film.

Games range from the simple questions on the sides of the pages (“Which is the longest kiss in film history?”), to pages with flaps containing quotes from actors and directors (“What director said ‘”Film lovers are sick people’?”). Peel back the flap and find the answer on the next brightly colored page. Trivia games include guessing a movie based on a small cutout of a scene to matching actors and directors with their roles or movies.

The book is also a hodgepodge of information on every aspect of film from 1895 to the present. The colorful blurbs interspersed throughout the book cover different genres, filmmakers, themes, notable actors, artistic movements and foreign films. Woody Allen, Stanley Kubrick and Francis Ford Coppola are featured alongside snippets on film noir, James Bond, science fiction and surrealism.

The authors write on these various elements with enough wit and pizzazz to keep even a film novice is entertained.

One blurb on “King Kong” talks about the mythical implications of the film classic and gives some history on the possible beginnings of the movie’s story. Another section gives a quick history of the soundtrack in film, from the first “talkie” film, 1927’s “The Jazz Singer,” to the “musical imagery of fear” found in Alfred Hitchcock’s “Vertigo” and “Psycho.”

As a finale the authors have printed lists of every Oscar for Best Picture from 1929 to 2004 and every film that has won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival from 1946 to 2004. Also included is a list of the American Film Institute’s “One Hundred Best American Films” and a directory of international film festivals.

The trivia is designed mostly for the film buff who loves the subtleties of cinema — the average movie-goer may not have much luck with the majority of the games and questions. But even if you have no idea who Lauren Bacall is, you can still get into the catchy and informative writing if you’re interested in movies .

In a room of RTVF majors or cinema fans, the trivia will be a big hit, but even for amateurs the answers will be entertaining. Film buff or not, the “Movie Game Book” is perfect for a spare hour in a comfortable chair.

Built to amuse both the film aficionado and the average Blockbuster customer, the book is an inviting and engaging read.

— Ellen S. Cantrell