“Woody Allen ON Woody Allen” has a a series of questions and answers about how he had made his films and it pretty much goes film by film up to the year 2002 when the most current version came out.
Thanks for the recommendations, was planning on starting a similar one myself.
I’m lucky it’s approaching Christmas as I’ve been able to convince and/or threaten people to order a couple of these recommendations. I’ve also ordered some myself:
“Godard on Godard” by Jean-Luc Godard
“Cinema: The Archaeology of Film and the Memory of A Century” by Jean-Luc Godard & Youssef Ishaghpour
“For Ever Godard” by Michael Temple
“Making Movies” by Sidney Lumet
“What is Cinema v1” by Andre Bazin
“What is Cinema v2” by Andre Bazin
I only really have one recommendation but I do think it can be an important read, “Image, Music, Text” by Roland Barthes.
Any book by Roger Ebert is just a given, especially “The Great Movie” series, and his book on Scorsese.
written by my film theory professor Bruce Kawin, it deals with the nature of narrative style in motion pictures. In the book he explains how all movies, even those containing an omniscient first-person narration are filmed from an ostensibly third-person perspective within the narrative universe of the film. He argues that it is possible for a movie to be narrated from a first-person perspective. This is not Lady in the Lake, Mirror’s Edge style narration whereby the viewer never leaves the angle-of-vision of the main character. This form of cinematic first-person narration that insists that what is presented on screen is reflective of what occurs inside the mind of the narrator, hence “mindscreen”. In the book he discusses films like Citizen Kane, Roshomon, Coming Apart, Last Year At Marienbad, Persona, Shame, and 2 or 3 things I know about her.
A very good examination of the midnight movie phenomenon in the 1970s. It covers movies like El Topo, Eraserhead, Night of the Living Dead, Pink Flamingos, and others.
Man, a lot of great recommendations have already been listed above!!! I would add LLOYD KAUFMAN’S " MAKE YOUR OWN DAMN MOVIE". It’s the funniest and MOST UNPRETENTIOUS book on filmmaking I’ve ever read.
Keiko McDonald’s How to Read a Japanese Film is a good intro to national cinema analysis methods and textual analysis
Scott Nygren’s Time Frames is a book that attempts to deconstruct previous methods of cross-cultural analysis by Western scholars reading Japanese film. It’s not an easy read because his writing is disjunctive and episodic in order to mirror his theoretical framework. It doesn’t always work but when it does its brilliant.
Hitchcock’s Romantic Irony by Richard Allen is very, very good and actually has something new to say about the director’s work and how it can be understood.
The Cinema of David Cronenberg: From Baron of Blood to Cultural Hero by Ernest Mathijs
Kurosawa by Mitsuhiro Yoshimoto. This book is not only about Kurosawa and his films but a meta critique of Japanese (and all nation based) film analysis.
Noël Burch’s “To the Distant Observer” is another outstanding theoretical book about Japanese cinema.
Ex-iles: Essays on Caribbean Cinema has always been one of my favorites from an undervalued part of the world, outside of tourism.
Burch is a must but Yoshimoto and others have seriously challenged many of his observations especially how he evaluates the entirety of Japanese film against the Hollywood IMR as if the only way Japanese cinematic form has meaning is because it is an oppositional/alternate and thus more politically desirable mode of representation. It ends up being a slightly Orientalist exercise reinforcing the norm of Hollywood or Western film practices. The question is still why Western cinema, history and political context being used to evaluate Japanese film?
How to Read a Film by James Monaco was too complicated/advanced for me by far, I gave it away to a more cinematically evolved soul :) Might be a good one for you.
-he evaluates the entirety of Japanese film against the Hollywood IMR as if the only way Japanese cinematic form has meaning is because it is an oppositional/alternate and thus more politically desirable mode of representation. It ends up being a slightly Orientalist exercise reinforcing the norm of Hollywood or Western film practices. The question is still why Western cinema, history and political context being used to evaluate Japanese film?-
Well, yes, it was written from a particular perspective. It is titled To the Distant Observer, after all.
By the way, you can download, a .pdf of Burch’s book in its entirety here
The question is still why Western cinema, history and political context being used to evaluate Japanese film?
Because while subsequent research proved Burch wrong on some details, it did reinforce his overall approach. Burch mistakenly assumed pre-war Japanese directors were free of the influence of Western cinema. Now it turns out that Mizoguchi, Naruse, Ozu, etc. were very familiar with and huge fans of the Hollywood product. The IMR was a large part of their their artistic foundation, so it is fair to judge their work against it. I think we forget exactly what a small world pre-war cinema was. Everybody was seeing everybody’s work.
Personally, I prefer pre-war Mizo and post-war Naruse and Ozu.
Can anybody recommend books on the works of Lars von Trier, Wim Wenders & Michael Haneke?
I’m looking more along the lines off critical essays rather than a biography but I’m willing to consider any recommendations.
Wenders has a few wonderful titles out there he’s written himself. ‘Wim Wenders: On Film,’ and ‘My Time With Antonioni’ are both exceptionally good reads.
I’m sure there are probably a few focused studies on von Trier by now, but the book I have is ‘The Name of the Book is Dogme 95’ by Richard Kelly and published in 2000. It gives you a good insight into his work, et.al. involved in that “movement.”
All of these are published by Faber&Faber.
I can’t give you any direction for Haneke. In fact, if you find some, send it my way!
Caroline Bainbridge’s The Cinema of Lars von Trier: Authenticity and Artifice
Catherine Wheatley’s Michael Haneke’s Cinema: The Ethic of the Image
Robert Phillip Kolker and Peter Beicken’s The Films of Wim Wenders: Cinema as Vision and Desire
I’d found most of the listed books but it’s not easy judging a book by it’s cover. Yep, I really can’t believe I typed that but in this case it is true.
When it comes to Michael Haneke there are certainly a few out there seems to only be a few out there but I can’t comment on their quality or usefulness:
-“Fascinatingly Disturbing: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Michael Haneke’s Cinema” – Alexander Ornella & Stefanie Knauss
-“A Companion to Michael Haneke” – Roy Grundmann
-“Funny Frames: The Filmic Concepts of Michael Haneke” – Oliver C. Speck
Is it wrong of me to want the last one purely because of the title?
Here’s a fairly in-depth review of Wheatley’s book that will give you an idea of what you’re in for.
Also, you can sample it via Google Books
Carlos Saura: Interviews (Conversations With Filmmakers Series) by Carlos Saura (Jan 2, 2003)
Everything Is Cinema: The Working Life of Jean-Luc Godard by Richard Brody
Cinema 2: The Time-Image by Gilles Deleuze
Society of the Spectacle by Guy Debord
The Emancipated Spectator by Jacques Rancière
Film Theory: An Anthology (Blackwell Anthologies) by Robert Stam and Toby Miller
Multiple Voices in Feminist Film Criticism by Diane Carson
Mainly for the basics …
Cinematic Storytelling by Jennifer Van Sijll
The Devil’s Candy by Julie Salamon relates the making and disastrous outcome of Brian DePalma’s Bonfire of the Vanities.It’s not a text book or about film theory, just a thoroughly compelling and entertaining read.
add this to my suggestions; Feature Filmmaking at used car prices by Rick Schmidt.
Thanks, I’d not heard of Google Books before.
A bit of an unusual request for anybody who’s willing to have a go, it’s unusual as I’m not even sure what I’m looking for myself.
Can anybody think of any books or essays that discuss film titles? I don’t mean the name of the film but the title sequence itself and how different directors choose to present the information and how that relates to the actual film. I can’t remember any off the top of my head but I know there has been films that have avoided them completely and placed the viewer inside the film instantly.
I’m not even sure how much control a director would have over the titles as they could well be farmed out to other people.
If anyone’s interested on Luis Buñuel, there’s a great book called “Luis Buñuel’s Carnival”, it was written by Aitor Bikandi Mejias, but I’m not pretty sure it haves any translated version to english.
Regarding more technical books, I suggest Film directing shot by shot: Visualizing from concept to screen by writter and film editor Steven D. Katz, includes information since how to pre-produce a film (setting schedules, etc.), to directing and post-production process.
A couple theory books I read recently that I thought were interesting.
“Signs and Meaning in the Cinema” by Peter Wollen
“Reading the Figural, Or, Philosophy After the New Media” by D.N. Rodowick
Douglas Morrey’s book on Godard is quite good.
Mulvey’s “Visual and Other Pleasures” is worth reading.
Robert Porfirio has an essay entitled “The Noir Title Sequence” in The Film Noir Reader 4. It maybe worth a look.
The collection of Herman G. Weinberg’s writings in “Saint Cinema” are revelatory. The writing’s a bit dated – even the later pieces from 1970 have an almost prewar orientation – but they evoke a time when it probably seemed as though cinema as a whole was a finite enough entity to be graspable and intimately known, inside and out. They express a kind of mystical wonderment with the medium that can be really inspiring, and something not immediately apparent in most other writers’ work.
In hardly two pages he convinced me of the brilliance of Falconetti’s performance in ‘The Passion of Joan of Arc’ whereas before I had refused/not gotten why many people love it so much. He combines the role of the jaded insider with breathless, transcendental fanaticism in a way that maybe Pauline Kael’s writing approaches, but few others do.
Santropez: Is the Bunuel book in Spanish?
El carnaval de Luis Buñuel: estudios sobre una tradicion cultural Madrid: Laberinto,
Main: PN1998.A3 B757 2000
The Visual Story by Bruce Block
check out some pretty funny film books!
gorgeous topic.. Lotte Eisner’s writing collection, Directing The FIlm by AFI, these are gorgeous itself-
Hitchcock Revisited by Robin Wood, Stroheim biography-