The Best Film You’ve Never Seen is an attempt to rewrite film history. In this book, 35 directors champion their favorite overlooked or critically-savaged gems. Director Bill Condon (Twilight: Breaking Dawn) calls these “orphan films,” though I prefer “outcast classics.”
Praise for The Best Film You’ve Never Seen:
“How necessary this book is! And how well judged and written! Some of the best films ever made, as Elder proves, are lamentably all but unknown.“
– Roger Ebert, film critic, Chicago Sun-Times
"Sometimes it can be more of a pleasure to hear someone discuss a movie with love than it is to see the movie itself. The thoughts and enthusiasms of Richard Linklater, Guy Maddin, John Waters, and others are alone worth the price of admission—and Steve James describing a movie I already love is no less instructive."
– Jonathan Rosenbaum, film critic and author
“I hate Robert K. Elder. While the rest of us struggle to come up with compelling content, he follows The Film That Changed My Life with another must-read for the novice and hard-core cinephile alike. Anyone who is passionate about art must be prepared to abandon the comfort of conventional wisdom to defend the denigrated and the dismissed; Elder and his impressive cast of commentators inspire us to continue battling for our beloved personal treasures.”
– Adam Kempenaar, critic/host, Filmspotting
“It’s always fascinating to learn which films filmmakers themselves admire, and even more so to read about movies they regard as underrated or, virtually, lost. Robert K. Elder has managed to coax some absorbing, candid comments from directors as elusive as John Dahl, Steve James, and Alex Proyas. This book offers new slants on old films, and reveals how the filmmakers themselves react to other movies from Europe and the U.S."
– Peter Cowie, film historian and former Int'l Publishing Director of Variety.
"Revelatory and always engaging…Ultimately, Elder is successful in pulling thoughtful, stimulating commentary from an impressive group, which makes for an illuminating look at eight decades of cinema…A well-written, lively read for pop culture fans and cinephiles alike.”
— Library Journal
“Anyone who loves movies should find fascinating stuff here.”
— Boston Herald
“This will be the book that launched a thousand Netflix queues.”
— Creative Loafing
“…a great new book…check it out!”
— USA Today’s Pop Candy
“For a movie lover who enjoys discoveries and challenges, its 260-ish pages combine into something resembling sheer joy. Is it too early to ask for a sequel?”
— Oklahoma Gazette
“…deliriously entertaining interviews…”
— Movie Geeks United
“…filmmakers in this book are the perfect hosts, often setting the tone, managing expectations and giving advice about how you should watch each movie.”
— The Imitated Life
“Armed with his research and his curious spirit, Elder crafts a book that seeks, quietly, to redefine the act of moviegoing as a positive action, to illustrate the aspirational nature of people who live for the moments when the lights dim low.”
— Pop Matters
“…a fascinating read…”
— Omaha World-Herald
“…ultimately, the book isn’t so much about the movies as it is about the moviemakers. Great fun for movie fans.”
“…hipping adventurous film goers to undiscovered gems is the most admirable thing a movie writer can do…a consistently worthwhile read. ”
“Now this is a great idea for a book…a treasure trove of under-the-radar gems that movie lovers need to seek out.”
“...a brisk, compelling read."
— Mike McGranaghan, The Aisle Seat
"Chicago writer Robert K. Elder has once again combined his amazing prolificness with his seemingly all-access pass to Hollywood to put out a book of interviews with film directors talking about their second-greatest love: Not their own, but other people’s movies."
— Alison Cuddy, WBEZ Chicago
"Robert K. Elder’s idea is simple genius…"
— Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer Movie Critic