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Forum namePass The Popcorn
Topic subjectRecommend me some books about film.
Topic URLhttp://board.okayplayer.com/okp.php?az=show_topic&forum=6&topic_id=295890
295890, Recommend me some books about film.
Posted by Frank Longo, Sun Jul-01-07 10:58 PM
Recently, I've been racing through books on film-- film history, biographies of actors/filmmakers/producers, film criticism.

Hip me to some good books you've read about film that I can put on the ole birthday list.
295892, Adventures in Screen Trade by William Goldman is a must
Posted by SoulHonky, Sun Jul-01-07 11:03 PM
I really liked Sidney Lumet's book, Making Movies.
296054, co-sign
Posted by Wordman, Mon Jul-02-07 01:31 PM
the second one he put out was dope too.

"Your current frequencies of understanding outweigh that which has been given for you to understand." Saul Williams
295903, RE: Recommend me some books about film.
Posted by King_Friday, Sun Jul-01-07 11:59 PM
First of all, I hope you own Andrew Sarris' "The American Cinema: Directors And Directions, 1929-1968".

If you don't, you need it. Real bad.

I also would recommend Sarris' "Confessions Of A Cultist: On The Cinema, 1955/1969"

And I highly recommend Robin Wood's book-length study of the films of Howard Hawks called "Howard Hawks".

And also Wood's "Hollywood From Vietnam To Reagan. . . And Beyond."

These are all very interesting.
295906, Shame on you, King Friday.
Posted by rhymesandammo, Mon Jul-02-07 12:35 AM
I figured a film scholar of your calibur would mention Andre Bazin's "What Is Cinema" amongst the top books on film. My film professor put me onto that in my senior year of high school and it really opened my eyes more than I could imagine.
295911, RE: Shame on you, King Friday.
Posted by BlueNote, Mon Jul-02-07 01:11 AM
What is Cinema is a great read. I read that book years ago and it really helped my shape my views on cinema. These days I really don't agree with a lot of Bazin's conclusions but his passion for the subject still makes me go back and read it.
295910, Conversations with Wilder - Cameron Crowe
Posted by ZooTown74, Mon Jul-02-07 01:08 AM
aka the PTP antichrist
Fall back, I saw her first
295916, RE: Recommend me some books about film.
Posted by BlueNote, Mon Jul-02-07 01:34 AM
These are some books that I've always enjoyed and keep going back to.

Interview Series, specifically Jean-Luc Godard and Robert Altman

The Godard book has a lot of great interviews with Godard and others and even though there is a lot of craziness spoken, the fact is that I've never heard film talked about ever than I have in this book, even if you don't agree it really gets you thinking about the medium.

The Altman one has a lot of good stories. Altman was never afraid to speak his mind quite bluntly and there's a lot of good insight into his films




This is just a must have, a conversation between the two about all of Hitchcocks films, just a great read.



This is kind of a lengthy biography about Truffaut's life which is a bit of topic, but the book really made me understand the time period of the Cahiers du Cinema and the French New Wave, it's a fun read, i got through pretty quick.


Hollywood vs. Hardcore

This is a book that tracks the history of censorship and how it molded the industry. It's a very interesting book that has a lot of good stories and studies films from a social historical perspective. The stuff on the Blacklist I think is great.


Whom God Wishes to Destroy

Written by the same guy as the last one. It tracks Francis Coppola from Apocalypse now through the 80's. The book is more again about the financial side of hollywood and how it dictated the creativity and product in hollywood as the auteur renaissance came to a close and the modern structure we have today was being made. Again it's a bit off topic but I found it a great read and an interesting story about the time of Coppola's life that's never talked about even though he was very active.


295959, A post about film books w/o the mention of David Bordwell
Posted by Sponge, Mon Jul-02-07 08:09 AM
is insanity (if people read his stuff other than Film Art and not mentioned him) and a crime (if people haven't heard of him or his work).

He is in the highest stratosphere (where folks like Bazin are) of thinkers on cinema.

All of his books and writings are essential and always illuminating.

For my money, the blog that he and his wife, Kristin Thompson, write is the best one on film.

I'll rec 2 of his books here; I'll gladly capsulize his other books for anyone interested:

-Film History: An Introduction (Thompson and Bordwell) - textbook
-The Way Hollywood Tells It (Bordwell) - 2 essays

His wife is no joke, either - a fine historian/scholar in her own right. Her upcoming Frodo Franchise book hopefully will get her and Bordwell more readership. Like Bordwell, all her stuff is prime material. Essential.

A DVD, but just as essential as a great film book:
-Visions Of Light: The Art of Cinematography

Other stuff:

(Thompson and Bordwell) - Film Art: An Introduction - Seems to be hated on. I mean, it's a introductory-level textbook and it's an excellent one at that.
(Bazin) - anything
(Sarris) - Interviews With Film Directors; American Cinema is classic, but more a personalized reference list-guide rather than a study of American movies.
(Rosenbaum) - anything, but Essential Cinema would float lots of people's boats here...good starting points for what to watch
(Bogdanovich) - This Is Orson Welles; Who The Devil Made It; Who The Hell's In It
(Woods) - Rio Bravo

Classics/staples; older stuff:

(Ondaatje) - Conversations: Walter Murch and the Art of Editing Film
(Murch) - In The Blink Of An Eye
(Mankiewicz) - Cinematography
(Bazin) - already mentioned
(Agee) - Agee On Film
(Burch) - Theory Of Film Practice
(Durgnat) - Films And Feelings
(Perkins) - Film As Film
(Farber) - Negative Space - kind of irritating, but a classic
(Woods) - Howard Hawks - already mentioned; Hitchcock's Films; not a fan of his later film theory-tinged works.
(Truffaut) - Hitchcock - already mentioned

"Newer" stuff:

(Tirard) - Moviemakers' Master Class: Private Lessons From The World's Foremost Directors
(Jarecki) - Breaking In: How 20 Film Directors Got Their Start
(Lowenstein) - My First Movie: Twenty Celebrated Directors Talk About Their First film

Faber and Faber's _ On _ (i.e., Herzog On Herzog) series is great stuff.

296055, what he said
Posted by Wordman, Mon Jul-02-07 01:33 PM

"Your current frequencies of understanding outweigh that which has been given for you to understand." Saul Williams
295976, Besides the aforementioned Hitchcock/Truffault......
Posted by TurkeylegJenkins, Mon Jul-02-07 09:47 AM
.... I recommend Woody Allen on Woody Allen.


You can't sleep on us forever: http://www.myspace.com/regeneratedheadpiece
295986, Story by Robert McKee. Mamet's Babmi vs Godzilla
Posted by bignick, Mon Jul-02-07 10:29 AM
295990, Rebels of the Backlot is pretty good
Posted by TheRealBillyOcean, Mon Jul-02-07 10:51 AM
295993, Final Cut by Steven Bach
Posted by Call It Anything, Mon Jul-02-07 10:56 AM
Though it's billed as a book about Heaven's Gate, just as much of the book is devoted to the movie industry during its inception through the era where the filmmakers were the ones calling the shots in the 70s and how Heaven's Gate was basically the jenga piece that made it all topple. A lot of behind the scenes insight about the work of studios and producers in addition to tales from one of the most fucked up sets of all time.
296035, Three recommendations
Posted by janey, Mon Jul-02-07 12:36 PM
I learned a lot about how to watch documentaries from this book on how to make them: http://www.amazon.com/Making-Documentary-Films-Reality-Videos/dp/0805044515/ref=pd_bbs_sr_3/103-4857603-3319062?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1183396986&sr=8-3

This is a terrific book with twenty different (very different!) directors talking about their first movies, with the exception of Oliver Stone who wanted to pretend that his third movie was his first movie, lol http://www.amazon.com/My-First-Movie-Celebrated-Directors/dp/0142002208/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/103-4857603-3319062?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1183397043&sr=1-1

damnation, I'll have to get back to you on the third one. I can't quite remember the name of the book or the writer. It'll come to me.


It is painful in the extreme to live with questions rather than with answers, but that is the only honorable intellectual course. (c) Norman Mailer
296214, okay it FINALLY came to me, damn
Posted by janey, Mon Jul-02-07 06:44 PM
This one is funny and strangely raises some interesting questions.


It will definitely have an impact on your moviegoing experience.


It is painful in the extreme to live with questions rather than with answers, but that is the only honorable intellectual course. (c) Norman Mailer
296059, focalpress.com
Posted by cereffusion, Mon Jul-02-07 01:40 PM

Back like...

296074, anything by Pauline Kael
Posted by colonelk, Mon Jul-02-07 02:06 PM
She'll infuriate you sometimes, but she's such a good writer you'll keep coming back for more.
296169, co-sign
Posted by BlueNote, Mon Jul-02-07 04:30 PM
I remembered about this after I already posted. I think there was a retrospective of her writing recently published if I'm not mistaken.
296076, Down and Dirty Pictures - Peter Biskind
Posted by ZooTown74, Mon Jul-02-07 02:08 PM
junk food reading, but it's still good
Fall back, I saw her first
296091, Toms, Coons, Mulattoes, Mammies, & Bucks - Donald Bogle
Posted by ZooTown74, Mon Jul-02-07 02:49 PM
Fall back, I saw her first