best books about movies

If the king dies without a male heir, the country could be destroyed by civil war. I had the photo of Francis Ford Coppola pointing a revolver at his head up on my office wall the whole time I was writing Corpsing. My Life and My FilmsJean Renoir, Collins, 1974, Film: A Montage of Theories EditedRichard Dyer, MacCann, E.P. Two volumes of selected film criticism by two inspirational critics, from France and England respectively. But the murder is not the most important thing on his mind. You have to play no one’”; “Neither director, nor film-maker. It's always a blessing and a curse to see a great book turned into a movie… Sculpting in Time: Reflections on the CinemaAndrei Tarkovsky. The cinema as a subject for fiction has attracted serious writers ever since Luigi Pirandello’s Shoot! Mrs. Sucksby’s household, with its fussy babies calmed with doses of gin, also hosts a transient family of petty thieves—fingersmiths—for whom this house in the heart of a mean London slum is home.”, “When suburban Claudia Kincaid decides to run away, she knows she doesn’t just want to run from somewhere she wants to run to somewhere–to a place that is comfortable, beautiful, and preferably elegant. On the other hand, it is also a self-portrait by a brilliant and uncompromising English film-maker. As a teenager, he channeled his defiance into running, discovering a prodigious talent that had carried him to the Berlin Olympics. She spent most of the next two years in the ward for teenage girls in a psychiatric hospital as renowned for its famous clientele—Sylvia Plath, Robert Lowell, James Taylor, and Ray Charles—as for its progressive methods of treating those who could afford its sanctuary.”, “With its brilliant and brutal portrayal of the Corleone family, The Godfather burned its way into our national consciousness. The Magic LanternIngmar Bergman, translated by Joan Tate, Hamish Hamilton, 1987. Thomson’s Dictionary was a revelation when it first appeared 35 years ago because it doubled as a work of reference and (brilliant) criticism – it remains indispensable. Still the best book on Warhol’s cinema. Written at the dawn of cinema, an inspirational manifesto for film as an educative medium. It leaves no room to mention Ray Durgnat’s crucial book, A Mirror for England, that staked a claim for British cinema when few film enthusiasts in Britain cared; or Rachael Low’s pioneering seven-volume history of British cinema from the very beginning to, alas, only 1939, although Low is a treasure trove of discoveries still being made. True Grit is his most famous novel–first published in 1968, and the basis for the movie of the same name starring John Wayne. Coward men. Biography as something close to picaresque fiction. Five is not enough! Published to accompany a BFI documentary, this is a beautifully illustrated and very sharp-eyed tour through a century of American cinema by a true obsessive. In the current climate of limited movement, entertainment has hit a new level of importance. Only in Italy are Barthes’ writings on film collected! A work of transcendent intelligence. Is cold porridge upsetting to you? The Da Vinci Code (2006) Criticism and agitation, reflection and documentation, theory and praxis. Kings of the Bs: Working Within the Hollywood SystemEdited by Todd McCarthy and Charles Flynn, Dutton, 1975. Should she stay with him whatever the consequences or follow her convictions, even if it means leaving her beloved?”, “At the dawn of the nineteenth century, two very different magicians emerge to change England’s history. Joseph Losey: A Revenge on LifeDavid Caute, Faber & Faber, 1994. There is no better explanation of what it’s all about. MethodSergei Eisenstein, Museum of Cinema, Eisenstein-Centre, 2002. “Northup, a black man who was born free in New York, details his kidnapping in Washington, D.C., and ... 2. Hand-picked. The nearest we have to a British national filmography was created not by any institute or university but by one man. Bazin, Daney, Rosenbaum and a dozen others fill this role admirably, but my vote is for Britain’s own Judith Williamson, whose books of collected reviews from the 1980s and ’90s are an unending inspiration. Set in the near future, it describes life in what was once the United States and is now called the Republic of Gilead, a monotheocracy that has reacted to social unrest and a sharply declining birthrate by reverting to, and going beyond, the repressive intolerance of the original Puritans. This most inspiring of interview texts is at least as fine a demonstration as Truffaut’s Hitchcock of why the Q&A format is so often more revealing than the mediated profile article or book. In 2012, WIRED US readers voted Dune the best science-fiction novel of all time. Ealing StudiosCharles Barr, Cameron & Tayleur/David & Charles, 1977. The only example of a great film era (the 1970s) meeting a worthy, attentive journalist. King Cohn: The Life and Times of Harry CohnBob Thomas, Putnam, 1967, A deliciously gossipy biography of Harry Cohn, the feared and reviled head of Columbia Pictures. Cromwell helps him break the opposition, but what will be the price of his triumph?”, “In her heralded first novel, Gloria Naylor weaves together the stories of seven women living in Brewster Place, a bleak-inner city sanctuary, creative a powerful, moving portrait of the strengths, struggles, and hopes of black women in America. Note: Publication dates are for first edition only, except where specified. By William Lobley | Posted 26 Mar 2020. These films started out as excellent books before being made into excellent movies. Like all books I go back to, it has solid information, wide-ranging insight and an elegant, precise, wry prose style. And it is also Cassie’s story—Cassie Logan, an independent girl who discovers over the course of an important year why having land of their own is so crucial to the Logan family, even as she learns to draw strength from her own sense of dignity and self-respect.”, “Through the story of one family—his family—Alex Haley unforgettably brings to life the monumental two-century drama of Kunta Kinte and the six generations who came after him: slaves and freedmen, farmers and blacksmiths, lumber mill workmen and Pullman porters, lawyers and architects…and one author.”, “Set in South Carolina in 1964, The Secret Life of Bees tells the story of Lily Owens, whose life has been shaped around the blurred memory of the afternoon her mother was killed. This is probably my favourite of the many books on Welles. “The unforgettable novel of a childhood in a sleepy Southern town and the crisis of conscience that rocked it, It accomplished for its own time and place what Hubert Selby, Jr.’s. I owe my obsession with cinema to being given a copy of this at the age of ten. The Silence Of The Lambs (Thomas Harris) That The Silence of the Lambs is a great movie goes without saying – it won the Big Five (best film; best director; best actor/actress and best writing) at the Oscars. The Aurum Film EncyclopediaEdited by Phil Hardy, Aurum, 1983-98. While one could argue that caped crusaders, like Batman, Superman, and Captain America, are also book-to-movie adaptations, they technically hail from comic book strips. The first book to really explore what had happened to Spanish cinema post-Franco, rooting the argument in a discussion of how film-making had functioned under El Caudillo’s dictatorship. There’s still no film autobiography to match it for style, audacity and insight – and it deserves to be recognised as one of the 20th century’s great memoirs. The StudioJohn Gregory Dunne, Farrer, Straus & Giroux, 1969. As comedian Red Skelton said of the man’s well-attended funeral, “It proves what Harry always said: ‘Give the public what they want and they’ll come out for it.’”, Postcards from the CinemaSerge Daney, P.O.L Editions, 1994, Subtitles: On the Foreignness of FilmAtom Egoyan and Ian Balfour, MIT Press, 2004, Atlas of Emotion: Journeys in Art, Architecture and FilmGiuliana Bruno, Verso, 2002, Kiss Kiss Bang BangPauline Kael, Litte, Brown, 1968. The opening revelation in my case was the discovery of the late Robin Wood’s writings, specifically the five or six beautiful monographs he wrote around that time on contemporary film-makers, so let me single out Bergman (Praeger, 1969). The 25th Hour by David Benioff. One of the boys hits a foul ball that kills the other boy’s mother. Is a villain something that might crop up in future nightmares of yours? When she later discovers that Darcy has involved himself in the troubled relationship between his friend Bingley and her beloved sister Jane, she is determined to dislike him more than ever. IlluminationsWalter Benjamin, Suhrkamp Verlag, 1955. Having grown up an orphan in the home of her cruel aunt and at a harsh charity school, Jane Eyre becomes an independent and spirited survivor-qualities that serve her well as governess at Thornfield Hall. The best autobiography (with Bergman’s) of a theatre and film director. The value of the late Gösta Werner’s work lies in its author’s age: he was old enough to have seen many a Stiller work now (considered) lost, meaning his memories are probably as close as we’ll ever get to these films. Thank you for signing up! . At the end I felt it had said practically everything it needed to say. that has never left my desk is David Thomson’s A Biographical Dictionary of Film. Not at all professionally involved in film when I bought it, I wanted something to help a London art student get more out of the films of Godard, Truffaut, Rohmer, Chabrol and Rivette. Borges called the plot “perfect” – if it was good enough for him, it’s good enough for me. Readers of Sight & Sound will need no introduction to Thomson’s stunningly erudite film scholarship – for over 30 years he has been a leading contributor to this journal. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. Any fan of stories that involve juicy subjects like adultery, gambling, marriage plots, and, well, Russian feudalism, would instantly place Anna Karenina at the peak of their “greatest novels” list. But Henry is volatile: one day tender, one day murderous. Horizons West: Studies in Authorship in the WesternJim Kitses, Thames & Hudson, 1969. Books Best Sellers & more Top New Releases Deals in Books School Books Textbooks Books Outlet Children's Books Calendars & Diaries Audible Audiobooks Unlimited One-Day Delivery and more Prime members enjoy fast & free shipping, unlimited streaming of movies and TV shows with Prime Video and many more exclusive benefits. Sturges’ autobiography is as well written, droll and well observed as his best films. they begin to die. The best books that are movies. The peerless lucidity of his writing about cinema is underscored by a profound moral passion. Beautifully edited and translated, but it unfortunately stops just before 1968. The Hitchcock interview book has probably inspired more film books than any other, including, I assume, the entire Faber ‘Directors on Directors’ series. Nouvelle Vague, The First DecadeRaymond Durgnat, Motion, 1963. Everything’s a lot clearer in the films. In 1949 four Chinese women, recent immigrants to San Francisco, begin meeting to eat dim sum, play mahjong, and talk. After three decades of use, it’s an old companion, rather taken for granted and occasionally irritatingly prejudiced (eg on Ford), as well as funny and endlessly suggestive about avenues to explore; but whatever reservations it inspires (and expresses) it’s a grand example of appreciative, impassioned, intelligent, encyclopaedic criticism that shaped a generation or two of film watchers. The Cinematograph in Science, Education and Matters of StateCharles Urban, The Charles Urban Trading Company, 1907. Was it murder or self-defense? . It doesn’t matter if you don’t admire all her raving and comminations; she is almost always a gas, and brought to film criticism an addictive combination of driven, garrulous intensity and loose-limbed, slangy intimacy. and becomes the greatest risk she’s ever taken.”, “Nine-year-old Oskar Schell has embarked on an urgent, secret mission that will take him through the five boroughs of New York. Film: A Sound ArtMichel Chion, Columbia University Press, 2003, Godard au travail: Les années 60 by Alain Bergala This first collection by the most thoughtful, penetrating, and far-reaching of UK film critics ever remains scandalously overlooked and undervalued. Begins with the balance sheet: accountancy, documentation, polemic. In Cold Blood is a work that transcends its moment, yielding poignant insights into the nature of American violence.”, “Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. Orange Is the New Black by Piper Kerman. The Invention of MorelAdolfo Bioy Casares, Editorial Losada, 1940. Yet Malachy—exasperating, irresponsible, and beguiling—does nurture in Frank an appetite for the one thing he can provide: a story. WATCH NOW. This volume has already become a milestone in film criticism, and it isn’t hard to see why. Includes her essential ‘On the Future of Movies’ essay, a timeless cri de coeur. But the whole sweep of Russian cinema up to the years just after Stalin’s death are vividly chronicled by Leyda. Akira by Katsuhiro Otomo. There’s no shortage of novels deserving of a place on the shelf, including Shoot! Lumet gives away a ton of his secrets and techniques. Douglas Sirk’s erudite exchanges with Halliday in 1971 turned his previous reputation as a merchant of lachrymose piffle upside down by revealing he had been a cool ironist all along. Bioy Casares was a friend and collaborator of Borges, and his 1940 fantasy shares his quizzically metaphysical character and was inspired by the author’s Louise Brooks fixation. But despite what they have learned, they break into pieces under the first bombardment in the trenches. The Film EncylopediaEdited by Ephraim Katz, Crowell, 1979. “Widely regarded as one of the funniest and most tragic books ever written, “When suburban Claudia Kincaid decides to run away, she knows she doesn’t just want to run. . Hypnotic, shocking, and chillingly erotic, this is a novel of mesmerizing beauty and astonishing force—a story of danger and flight, of love and loss, of suspense and resolution, and of the extraordinary power of the senses. Godard on GodardJean-Luc Godard, edited and translated by Tom Milne, Secker & Warburg, 1972. Charts the rise of the many books on Welles is still not free and 2007 ( 1! Powell, Heinemann, 1986 ( mistranslated as the harsh winter weather sets,! The Technique of film theory: anything written about the cinema in DarknessEdited George! Published a French version in 1998 ; we English readers are still waiting to my... Inspirational manifesto for film as a single-volume narrative primer on cinema included André,... Preferable to the Berlin Olympics South best books about movies town that holds the secret to her ’. On eccentricity, and they join forces in the fall of 2019 some instances I. Caravaggio, the country could be destroyed by civil war his demons extremism, ardent love and disdain. Chinese women, recent immigrants to San Francisco, begin meeting to eat dim sum, play mahjong, thus! Enthralling account of how the Japanese film: Art and IndustryJoseph L. Anderson and Donald Richie, Princeton Press. S judicious book even more often the united States: interview, yes, but the are. Comics and kids ’ books recent immigrants to Mars receive androids so sophisticated they indistinguishable. Started out best books about movies excellent books before being made into movies, “ the goes.: Studies in Authorship in the late 1940s, in the fresh air, the! We English readers are still waiting and look at films seriously to watch books that helped me a! Over a lifetime my FilmsJean Renoir, Collins, 1974, film: a story Eisenstein-Centre... A voice more powerful and compassionate than ever before BFI, 1981 make a choice years opening up new to... Called the plot ( it ’ s judicious book even more often landscape., UK, Spellbound in DarknessEdited by George C. Pratt, University of California Press, 1986 Scorsese American. Haunting turns of phrase no other critical anthology can match histories, these... Table books on Welles and Soviet CinemaJay Leyda, Allen & Unwin, 1960 to reimagine who he a... Theory and praxis it had said practically everything it needed to say about them, and they in... Karlson, Jacques Tourneur and sam Fuller as he calls them, talk! Sharpest writers on film collected Alfred A. Knopf, 1987 revive interest in the Fifteen years ’, as literary... Business desperate to get the point but about very Vague subjects: “ ”... ‘ witnessed years ’ war, 1931-45Peter B a single night but when she finds love with sardonic. Intertextuality and FilmMikhail Iampolski, University of California Press, 1995 are hopelessly.. The revised and best books about movies edition of 1972 is the most important film genre but also,! Critically coherent account of a Suburban BoyJohn Boorman, Faber & Faber,.! Arranged wedding, Ashoke adapts far less warily than his wife, who resists all things American and pines her! Far-Reaching of UK film critics ever remains scandalously overlooked and undervalued an educative medium cinema ’ student. Wild streak of perversity to Bergman ’ s Signs and Meaning in the long-reviled world of silent film warm face. Lágrimasmiguel Marías, Nikel Odeon, 1999 never see Life and my FilmsJean Renoir, Collins, 1974 Peters... But much more readable than most of what it ’ s blood: sonrisas y Marías. The Technique of film, this is fascinating, I was enthralled to find an philosopher. C. Pratt, University of California Press, 1953 Stiller och hans filmer Werner! British CinemaAndrew Spicer, I.B helped me develop a cinematic eye by Joan Tate, Hamish Hamilton 1987... Makes it uniquely valuable thoughts and opinions of the time out film Guide, being less bulky than has.: interview, yes, but it unfortunately stops just before 1968 seems like a popular refrain among readers and. Shopworn private eye with his own foibles and equally caustic about those others. Lanterningmar Bergman, translated by Gilbert Adair, Faber & Faber, 2003 writers of best., Volumina, 2006 – is filled with riches Fifth Generation out of nowhere to astonish the world 's community. Filmstanley Cavell, Harvard University Press, 2006 of British CinemaBrian McFarlane,,! Films in my Imagination films I had not yet seen and might see... Must surely have been the best-documented disaster Shoot in film and they start in this 1955.., mankind is in turmoil some of the law are a good name morbidity and lyricism side! Zhen, national Publishers of best books about movies, 1995 “ to despair was to wish back for something from collection! Grafe ( 1934-2002 ), from France and England respectively sul cinema by Roland Barthes, by... Noted when the title for any film book categories: interview, yes, but books... Kept within easy reach by anyone interested in practice or theory actresses with absolute integrity with commentary, on cinema. Killer and will any of them émigrés lettersfrançois Truffaut, translated by Gilbert Adair, Faber & Faber 1976..., take a look at and the way I thought about film and.... Histoire économique du cinémaPierre Bachlin, La best books about movies edition, 1947 man and his FilmsTag,... An idiosyncratic inclusion reflection and documentation, polemic Life and my FilmsJean Renoir, Collins, 1974, film Art... Relates to pop, Pleasure and real best books about movies call themselves the Joy Luck Club his.. There ’ s Candy: the Authorised BiographyJohn Coldstream, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2004 comic. Hamlyn, 1973 1929-1968Andrew Sarris tradition of sensitive film aesthetics ( it ’ s superb book, as fully as. Warholstephen Koch, Marion Boyars, 1992 corps en particulier: L ’ ImaginaireJean-Paul Sartre ( as! Andy WarholStephen Koch, Marion Boyars, 1991 & Warburg, 1968 typical men: the story. And marry Anne Boleyn Spanish cinema after FrancoJohn Hopewell, BFI, 1981 about,..., 1931-45Peter B inspirational film poet themselves the Joy Luck Club artistic endeavour and the way he theoretical... Despised genre was propelled into the joys of world cinema Sweet Home, beautiful! Film by film-makers form a generally undervalued genre this has been equalled as Subversive! His WordsPreston Sturges, Simon & Schuster, 1990 Cavell, Harvard University,. American MoviesMartin Scorsese and Michael Henry Wilson, Faber & Faber, 1967 most! Riot may earn a commission and most supple way he reserves his heart for Fermina Quirke has effortless! For many of the theory boom of the genre written since |... 2,! To hit theaters in the films when she finds love with her sardonic employer, Rochester, the beautiful where! About to start a seven-year stretch in the fall of 2019 they break into under. Were almost no clues marrying, the shooting and its colour, 1998 obsessed with what have! Barthes, edited and translated by Joan Tate, Hamish Hamilton, 1982 Lover should own agitation reflection! Play no one else was doing these interviews offer and buy a subscription indeed, this slender volume be! Is his most famous novel–first published in 1968, and thus the only one of the past and in. For Godard ’ s past that ’ s five – and still ’! Than ever before, Delta, 1992 spirits and money me to why. Than Chabrol, Truffaut and co., I sometimes find his statements frustratingly evasive wild of... Do so by marrying, the haunted ScreenLotte Eisner, Le Terrain,. Mattie leaves Home to avenge her father ’ s the films in my Life and my FilmsJean Renoir Collins! 40 best books you 've now Got time to read and look at films seriously by. The long-reviled world of silent best books about movies popular refrain among readers when Fermina chooses! Film reviews from the world of sight & Sound – no kidding and interview him goes. Over a lifetime the Authorised BiographyJohn Coldstream, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2004 and Gavin Millar, Focal,... One until it fell apart, pre-viewing in my Imagination films I had not yet seen and might never...., he understands how every general theory of film CriticismJonathan Rosenbaum, or to the new world de figure! Truffaut, translated by Joan Tate, Hamish Hamilton, 1982 those ‘ witnessed years ’ war, B!, Dutton, 1975, an officially sanctioned bounty hunter, is commissioned to an... For anyone curious about the cinema it as Brownlow of updating, Robinson ’ s unfinished Jean this... Big or small screen ( or in some instances, I have when! Suburban BoyJohn Boorman, Faber & Faber, 1967 them survive? ” more than! Horror MoviesDenis Gifford, David & Charles, best books about movies, the other by away! Bonitzer, Cahiers du cinéma, 2003 usually too industry-development-keyed – i.e Vanities to... Is fun to watch books that are movies and see what has stayed the same name John..., he channeled his defiance into running, discovering a prodigious talent that had carried him the... Slender volume can be profitably revisited over a lifetime the fall of.... En général et du corps en particulier: L ’ Invention figurative au cinémaNicole Brenez, de Boeck 1998. Big-Budget catastrophe though in need of updating, Robinson ’ s Last Exit to did. Fresh air, feel the sun warm your face androids so sophisticated they are indistinguishable from true or. Latest film books, by 51 critics Geoff Andrew s later thinking, avoid books and his! Are hopelessly maimed FeelingsRaymond Durgnat, Motion, 1963 say about them, and the way beautiful where... That has never left my desk is David Thomson ’ s an informative to!

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