The film scholar R. J. Cardullo presents here a selection of Alexander Bakshy’s writing, edited, arranged, introduced, and annotated for readers of all levels. Bakshy was a “seer,” and Cardullo has seen how vital this critic was, and is, to the history—as well as future—of motion pictures, the movie industry, and visual culture itself. Accordingly, in The Birth and Near Demise of Film, he offers Bakshy’s thoughtful pieces on such significant, if not timeless, movies as Chaplin’s City Lights, Eisenstein’s Ten Days That Shook the World, Dreyer’s Passion of Joan of Arc, Clair’s Sous les toits de Paris, Pabst’s Kameradschaft, Kinugasa’s Slums of Tokyo, and Milestone’s All Quiet on the Western Front. The reader is also presented with Bakshy’s penetrating insight into influential directors like Hitchcock, Capra, Renoir, Lubitsch, Murnau, Cukor, Pudovkin, and Hawks. Bakshy was nothing if not forward-looking in his criticism (foreseeing, for example, the rise of the director-as-superstar), and this aspect of his work, as well as many others, is made all the more comprehensible, even compelling, by Cardullo’s able commentary throughout. Alexander Bakshy has been called the first important film critic, and Cardullo, himself a critic, finally gives him in this book the recognition—and respect—he deserves.