The Best Books About Film

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colinr0380
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 4:30 pm
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Re: The Best Books About Film

#1051 Post by colinr0380 » Fri Jun 28, 2019 12:03 pm

Dr Amicus wrote:
Fri Jun 28, 2019 4:13 am
Another Mendik (edited) book worth hunting out is Unruly Pleasures: The Cult Film and its Critics - some great articles in there. Also fun is Jonathan Ross's The Incredibly Strange Film Book - Ross can be a bit of a tit at times, but he knows his cult cinema.
I guess that was tying in with his Incredibly Strange Film Show series?

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Godot
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Re: The Best Books About Film

#1052 Post by Godot » Fri Jun 28, 2019 1:50 pm

Cinephile1 wrote:
Fri Jun 28, 2019 6:20 am
The three greatest books about cinema as an artform: Raymond Francis Carney, Jr. The Films of John Cassavetes: Pragmatism, Modernism, and the Movies, ... Raymond Francis Carney, Jr., ed., Cassavetes on Cassavetes... Raymond Francis Carney, Jr. Shadows
Did you list these because of Carney or Cassavetes (or both)? If it's the former, I prefer his books on Dreyer (Speaking the Language of Desire) and Capra (American Vision) and recommend them to you.

Cinephile1
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Re: The Best Books About Film

#1053 Post by Cinephile1 » Fri Jun 28, 2019 2:10 pm

Godot wrote:
Fri Jun 28, 2019 1:50 pm
Cinephile1 wrote:
Fri Jun 28, 2019 6:20 am
The three greatest books about cinema as an artform: Raymond Francis Carney, Jr. The Films of John Cassavetes: Pragmatism, Modernism, and the Movies, ... Raymond Francis Carney, Jr., ed., Cassavetes on Cassavetes... Raymond Francis Carney, Jr. Shadows
Did you list these because of Carney or Cassavetes (or both)? If it's the former, I prefer his books on Dreyer (Speaking the Language of Desire) and Capra (American Vision) and recommend them to you.
Both. Thanks for the recs!

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Godot
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Re: The Best Books About Film

#1054 Post by Godot » Fri Jun 28, 2019 2:15 pm

black&huge wrote:
Fri Jun 28, 2019 4:17 am
How is Imogen Sara Smith's In Lonely Places? I only recently discovered her and wanted to check it out.
I'm a sucker for books on film noir, so I picked this up and have been slowly thumbing through it. I like her take on non-urban settings (the desert and Southwest, suburban domesticity, sleepy small towns, the road trip), and her writing voice is similar to her speaking voice, if you've enjoyed her appearances on podcasts or DVD interviews or commentaries. It's interesting to read her take on a few films that are usually discussed for their director or cinematographer and instead focus on their setting (Out of the Past, They Live By Night, Kiss Me Deadly, His Kind of Woman and other Farrows, a few of the Langs). I get her a bit confused with Farran Smith Nehme, their voices are somewhat similar to my ears, so the Columbia noir video essay piece on the Criterion Channel was helpful to separate them in my mind.

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Godot
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Re: The Best Books About Film

#1055 Post by Godot » Fri Jun 28, 2019 2:19 pm

Dr Amicus wrote:
Fri Jun 28, 2019 4:13 am
Another Mendik (edited) book worth hunting out is Unruly Pleasures: The Cult Film and its Critics - some great articles in there. Also fun is Jonathan Ross's The Incredibly Strange Film Book - Ross can be a bit of a tit at times, but he knows his cult cinema.
ianthemovie wrote:
Fri Jun 28, 2019 7:09 am
Throwing out another essential cult-movie resource: Michael Weldon's Psychotronic Encyclopedia of Film. An eclectic compendium of capsule reviews, many of them hilarious, covering a wide range of cult classics, forgotten B-movies, films maudits, exploitation fare, Eurotrash, etc.
Thank you both for the tips, adding these to my queue, they look interesting!

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DaBargainHunta
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Re: The Best Books About Film

#1056 Post by DaBargainHunta » Fri Jun 28, 2019 6:12 pm

I really enjoyed The Female Gaze: Essential Movies Made by Women by Alicia Malone.

It spotlights movies made by women about women. I thoughts its approach was both unique and interesting. I don't think I've ever read another film book quite like it. (I'm a man, BTW.)

If you have Kindle Unlimited, it's free to read. It's also available in hardcover.

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senseabove
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Re: The Best Books About Film

#1057 Post by senseabove » Fri Jun 28, 2019 8:33 pm

Are there any other good day-by-day production history books y'all'd recommend? I've been reading Haver's book on A Star is Born and Rathgeb's on Rebel Without a Cause and enjoying all the nitty gritty details.

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domino harvey
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Re: The Best Books About Film

#1058 Post by domino harvey » Fri Jun 28, 2019 8:35 pm

Picture by Lillian Ross, which covers the disastrous shooting of John Huston's the Red Badge of Courage, is probably the most well-known

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Matt
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Re: The Best Books About Film

#1059 Post by Matt » Sun Jun 30, 2019 9:35 pm

I second the rec for Picture, one of my favorite nonfiction books, period. Also, and not quite day-by-day but still a comprehensive behind-the-scenes, I like Aljean Harmetz’s book on The Wizard of Oz. I’ve not read her books on Casablanca and Gone with the Wind.

Sam Staggs has books on All About Eve, Sunset Blvd, Imitation of Life, and A Streetcar Named Desire. I read the one on Eve, and it was an entertaining and informative read, but not exactly serious scholarship. It’s waspishly written and surprisingly lengthy, and so quickly gets tiresome if you don’t have an appetite for gossipy minutiae. I suspect the others are more of the same.

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Ovader
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Re: The Best Books About Film

#1060 Post by Ovader » Sun Jun 30, 2019 10:12 pm

There is The Two Hundred Days of 8 1/2 by Deena Boyer.

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senseabove
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Re: The Best Books About Film

#1061 Post by senseabove » Mon Jul 01, 2019 10:49 am

Picture sounds right up my alley—it'll be interesting to get that level of detail on a movie that doesn't have a legendary status now...

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senseabove
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Re: The Best Books About Film

#1062 Post by senseabove » Tue Jul 02, 2019 2:48 am

Coincidentally, NYRB just reissued Picture: https://www.nyrb.com/products/picture-l ... 7214483508

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Dr Amicus
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Re: The Best Books About Film

#1063 Post by Dr Amicus » Tue Jul 02, 2019 4:27 am

There's also the related genre of film-maker's diaries. Jarman's cover longer periods and aren't necessarily film specific, but Isaac Julien's Diary of a Young Soul Rebel on the production of his film is intresting in places. Boorman's Money Into Light about making The Emerald Forest is apparently great and is currently sitting on my shelf waiting to be read...

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Orson Kane
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Re: The Best Books About Film

#1064 Post by Orson Kane » Mon Jul 08, 2019 5:39 am

senseabove wrote:
Fri Jun 28, 2019 8:33 pm
Are there any other good day-by-day production history books y'all'd recommend? I've been reading Haver's book on A Star is Born and Rathgeb's on Rebel Without a Cause and enjoying all the nitty gritty details.
My 2 favourites in this genre are:

The Devil's Candy: The Bonfire of the Vanities Goes to Hollywood
by Julie Salamon

Final Cut: Dreams and Disaster in the Making of Heaven's Gate
by Steven Bach

ESSENTIAL reading, especially if you are a big fan of the two movies

If there are any others as good as these two, please let me know

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Randall Maysin
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Re: The Best Books About Film

#1065 Post by Randall Maysin » Mon Jul 08, 2019 9:39 am

My recommendation, if i recall correctly, has very little actual nuts-and-bolts filmmaking stuff about the film ostensibly in question (The African Queen), i believe it deals mostly with preproduction--location scouting perhaps?, and I don't even know how verifiable or trustworthy the 'facts' it deals in are, but you should very much check out Peter Viertel's great White Hunter, Black Heart, for a fascinating and very ambiguous portrait of John Huston. This book is just full of tall tales, incredible scenes, reckless behaviour, and what have you.

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Reverend Drewcifer
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Re: The Best Books About Film

#1066 Post by Reverend Drewcifer » Mon Jul 08, 2019 10:35 am

A number of great books about Hollywood Palace Intrigue:
  • Andrew Yule's Fast Fade: David Puttnam, Columbia Pictures, and the Battle for Hollywood
  • David McClintock's Indecent Exposure: A True Story of Hollywood and Wall Street
  • Nancy Griffin & Kim Masters' Hit and Run

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bearcuborg
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Re: The Best Books About Film

#1067 Post by bearcuborg » Tue Jul 09, 2019 5:16 pm

I should have posted this on the Amazon Deals thread last week, but I picked up The Oliver Stone Experience by Matt Zoller Seitz.

It’s a mammoth book, in size, pages and scope. It is very much presented in a kaleidoscope manner, with all kinds media photos, film stills, hand written notes, and script pages. It’s a mix of essays, reviews and Q&A. I’ve barely scratched the surface this week, as I skipped to the parts I cared most about, like his work with Robert Richardson (I don’t think either have been as good with out each other) and films like Nixon and Natural Born Killers (perhaps his best, in my eyes). He goes over the the feud with Tarantino, but awkwardly wears the Stanley Kramer comparison as a badge of honor.

It’s a lot of fun to read, especially for $12 but I currently see it selling for $25.

Otastu
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Re: The Best Books About Film

#1068 Post by Otastu » Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:20 am

Can anyone recommend "Kenji Mizoguchi and the Art of Japanese Cinema by Tadao Sato"?
I have found conflicting reviews online, specifically critiquing the translation/editing of the English language version.
The reason I ask is my local bookshop has copies for €9.99 but I hesitated to buy it due to the aforementioned criticism.

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Orson Kane
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Re: The Best Books About Film

#1069 Post by Orson Kane » Wed Jul 17, 2019 7:13 am

Are there any film magazines that you guys are reading regularly for good quality content?

I've been disappointed with the last few issues of Sight & Sound. I tried one Little White Lies and thought it was ok (The 100 Best British Films one) but nothing great.

Is there anything with exceptionally good writing and undiscovered gems (even genre mags)?

emilyquirq
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Re: The Best Books About Film

#1070 Post by emilyquirq » Wed Jul 17, 2019 7:48 am

Thompson’s big, bulky, fiercely opinionated tome is the definitive movie reference book, even if his tastes run mighty persnickety (I just randomly opened to a page in the middle and found this comment, re Paul Newman: “I am skeptical of such blue-eyed likability”). I highly recommend it guys!

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MichaelB
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Re: The Best Books About Film

#1071 Post by MichaelB » Wed Jul 17, 2019 12:46 pm

I wouldn’t normally quibble about a mere letter, but it’s important to distinguish between David Thomson (author of A Biographical Dictionary of Film) and David Thompson (BBC documentary producer turned increasingly regular talking head and commentary provider) because it’s confusing enough that their names sound identical when read out loud!
Last edited by MichaelB on Wed Jul 17, 2019 9:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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DarkImbecile
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Re: The Best Books About Film

#1072 Post by DarkImbecile » Wed Jul 17, 2019 9:26 pm

bearcuborg wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 5:16 pm
I should have posted this on the Amazon Deals thread last week, but I picked up The Oliver Stone Experience by Matt Zoller Seitz.

It’s a mammoth book, in size, pages and scope. It is very much presented in a kaleidoscope manner, with all kinds media photos, film stills, hand written notes, and script pages. It’s a mix of essays, reviews and Q&A. I’ve barely scratched the surface this week, as I skipped to the parts I cared most about, like his work with Robert Richardson (I don’t think either have been as good with out each other) and films like Nixon and Natural Born Killers (perhaps his best, in my eyes). He goes over the the feud with Tarantino, but awkwardly wears the Stanley Kramer comparison as a badge of honor.

It’s a lot of fun to read, especially for $12 but I currently see it selling for $25.
You weren’t kidding about the value here; I checked Amazon a few hours after you originally posted and got a copy for $8.41 after sales tax, and now that it arrived and I’ve spent a few minutes flipping through it, I feel like I stole it. This would have been a great buy at $25!

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bearcuborg
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Re: The Best Books About Film

#1073 Post by bearcuborg » Wed Jul 17, 2019 9:56 pm

It had been in my shopping cart for awhile, after seeing it on the shelf at my Philly Barnes & Noble a few years ago. I’m glad you got a great deal! Matt is a terrific writer. It’s given me a lot of inspiration for my book about mumblecore.

I also recommend (but don’t currently own) the David S Cohen and James Mottram mammoth book, Die Hard: The Ultimate Visual History.

I’m holding out for a similar deal, but I also spent a good deal of time with it at Barnes & Noble a year ago.

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DarkImbecile
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Re: The Best Books About Film

#1074 Post by DarkImbecile » Wed Jul 17, 2019 10:13 pm

bearcuborg wrote:
Wed Jul 17, 2019 9:56 pm
Matt is a terrific writer.
Ahem...

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domino harvey
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Re: The Best Books About Film

#1075 Post by domino harvey » Tue Jul 23, 2019 5:31 pm

senseabove wrote:
Fri Jun 28, 2019 8:33 pm
Are there any other good day-by-day production history books y'all'd recommend? I've been reading Haver's book on A Star is Born and Rathgeb's on Rebel Without a Cause and enjoying all the nitty gritty details.
Discovered another one, though it's not in English: Michel Cournot's Le premier spectateur: histoire vraie is a novelized recounting of his time spent on the set for the length of shooting on Henri-Georges Clouzot's Les espions

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