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Shone, Tom 1967–

Shone, Tom 1967–

PERSONAL: Born 1967, in Horsham, England.

ADDRESSES: Home—Brooklyn, NY. Agent—c/o Free Press Publicity, 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020.

CAREER: Writer. Sunday Times, London, England, film critic, 1994–99.

WRITINGS:

Blockbuster: How Hollywood Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Summer (nonfiction), Free Press (New York, NY) 2004.

Contributor of articles to newspapers and magazines, including New York Times, London Daily Telegraph, New Yorker, and Vogue.

SIDELIGHTS: Tom Shone's Blockbuster: How Hollywood Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Summer examines the influence of the big-budget action films that have dominated the summer schedule since the mid-1970s. Shone makes a case that such movies as Jaws, Star Wars, and Raiders of the Lost Ark reinvigorate the U.S. film industry, not only because they draw large audiences but because they are often better than many of the offerings critics laud, particularly in the 1960s and early 1970s. He also emphasizes that the profits from these popular movies help guarantee a place for more eccentric films, as they have played a role in the rise of multiscreen theaters, which show both so-called blockbusters and smaller-scale art films. Shone particularly admires directors Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, and James Cameron, and he interviews them and many other filmmakers for his book, while also offering extensive analyses of blockbuster films and how they are made.

Some reviewers praised Shone's writing, despite having reservations about his thesis. "Whether you're convinced by this or not, it's extremely refreshing to find a critic willing to stake out such unfashionable ground and then spend 392 pages defending it," remarked Toby Young in Spectator. Young added, "Shone helps his cause immeasurably by being a gifted writer." Reviewer Sukhdev Sandhu, writing in New Statesman, considered blockbuster films to be "genetically modified, supersize cinema: … succulent and filling, but still able to leave you just as hungry as when you first started." The critic reported, however, that Shone's book "is a spirited and intelligent account of their emergence." Benjamin Svetkey, writing in Entertainment Weekly, pointed out that Shone makes "a clever, entertaining argument," while David Siegfried in Booklist called the author's "biting analyses" "on target." In addition, a Publishers Weekly reviewer noted that Shone "writes with verve," while reviewer Toby Young concluded that "for anyone interested in film, this book is a must read."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, November 15, 2004, David Siegfried, review of Blockbuster: How Hollywood Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Summer, p. 538.

Entertainment Weekly, December 3, 2004, Benjamin Svetkey, review of Blockbuster, p. 97.

Kirkus Reviews, September 15, 2004, review of Blockbuster, p. 906.

New Statesman, October 11, 2004, Sukhdev Sandhu, "Supersize Cinema," review of Blockbuster, p. 50.

Publishers Weekly, September 27, 2004, review of Blockbuster, p. 44.

Spectator, October 9, 2004, Toby Young, "Both the First and the Last Word," review of Blockbuster, p. 49.

ONLINE

Simon & Schuster Web site, http://www.simonsays.com/ (September 28, 2005), brief biography of Tom Shone.

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