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,! 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