For those who are passionate about reading cinema related books, what books are you reading now (post opinions, suggestions, images, etc.)…
Also, check out the following BFI article on cinema books recommended by 51 film critics
For October 2010, I’m reading….
Vol. 2 of Andre Bazin’s “What is Cinema?”, James Harvey’s “Romantic Comedy” and Matthew Sweet’s “Shepperton Babylon”.
I realized I don’t have any books on Lubitsch and Capra, and love the screwball comedy films, so read that “Romantic Comedy” was a book worth reading. Also, picked up “Shepperton Babylon” as I was impressed by Sweet’s “Silent Britain” documentary especially how American studios affected British cinema during the teens and 20’s but also, was curious about British cinema in other decades as well. And have been wanting to add Bazin’s “What is Cinema?” to my reading as well.
Last month’s reading was Donald Richie’s “The Films of Akira Kurosawa”. It’s important to note that there are like 3-4 different releases as he has updated them. This one I read was the third revision.
And having owned several Pauline Kael’s books, I figured it would be much cheaper to purchase “For Keeps” than getting the other releases and I’m glad I did. For those who have never purchased a book of this feisty film critic, definitely give this one a try. Especially since you can find it pretty cheap online ala used.
And this summer, I have been reading:
These three books are fantastic!
And last, for those who also purchase reference books, this one is a solid title as well.
I own that last one but I had to leave it at home. Haven’t gotten to use it much since I moved out shortly after I got it. Been looking forward to looking through it.
Great topic, by the way. There are a handful or so threads about books but there are few about cinema books (I know this isn’t the only one but I’m not going to go all searchy and redundant thread on you).
I agree, this is actually a great topic. I´m currently reading “Reality Fictions: The Films of Frederick Wiseman”, and just finished the first extensive chapter about the “Titicut Follies” trials. The difficulties which Wiseman´s first documentary had to face would have made Kafka proud. I recommend the book to those who want to learn more about the sociological and historical context of his earlier films from the 60s till the 80s.
I just picked up a book called “The Simpsons and Philosophy”. I couldn’t resist. I’ll start reading it tonight.
Film: The Critic’s Choice which is a fun reference tome Kai White gave me for my birthday (respect, yo). Though some of the choices are suspect (Terminator 2 to represent modern US cinema?) the essays are mostly interesting and engaging and I’ll enjoy referring to it as I see more and more of the films.
Interviews: Satyajit Ray is one I’m reading piecemeal as I see each of his films (two to date, with one more coming soon). An interesting man.
Sculpting in Time by Andrei Tarkovsky: ditto, though I’ve seen all but two of his films. So far I’m very glad he thought it necessary to put these words down as his life was coming to an end.
And yes, I’m consistently in the middle of three or four books. I’m also reading Three Cups of Tea which is not film-related.
Rebel Without a Crew
How Not to Make a Short FIlm
Amos Vogel’s “Film as a Subversive Art.” Long out of print but worth the search (try www.abebooks.com). Terrific lists of films that disrupt the cinematic status quo. Many of the most tantalizing are the most impossible to find.
I just finished J. Hoberman’s “The Dream Life: Movies, Media and the Mythology of the Sixties” (2003).
It ties in the movies of the ’60s and early ’70s with the political events happening at the exact moments these movies were being made and released.
Interesting complement to Mark Harris’ “Pictures at a Revolution” (the one about the five Best Pic Oscar nominees of 1967) and Peter Biskind’s “Easy Riders, Raging Bulls.”
The Cinema of Werner Herzog: Aesthetic Ecstasy and Truth
by Brad Prager
Good read so far.
“Rebel Without a Crew” is one of my favorite film books/biographies. You can read it over and over again and it’s always entertaining and inspiring.
I’ve been reading the writings of Derek Jarman all Summer/Autumn.
The man was a poetic mastermind.
I read Modern Nature as my constant travel companion.
And I’ve been studying & re-reading his novel Chroma for a film I’m working on.
I guess they’re not really ‘cinema books’, but they are written by a cinema-maker…
Anybody read A History of Narrative Film by David Cook? God I love that book and how much it taught me.
On the Camera Arts and Consecutive Matters: The Writings of Hollis Frampton
Harun Farocki: Working the Sight-lines
Frampton’s book is (like his film work) sensational.
I like the Cook book (teehee).
Currently catching up on some apparatus theory for a paper. I recommend Anne Friedberg’s The Virtual Window.
Just picked up Richard Roud’s “Godard” at a secondhand store for $4.
Cook’s book is magnificent. I could do with recommendations for best books on some relatively neglected countries, cos many lists are dominated by Anglo-American writers (often on Anglo-American subjects) with some French thrown in.
Mark Le Fanu’s ‘Mizoguchi and Japan’. Also been slowly getting through Leo Braudy’s ‘The World in a Frame: What We See in Films’.
Per Soul Deserter: “Just picked up Richard Roud’s “Godard” at a secondhand store for $4.”
I bout that about 2 1/2 years ago for 50 cents. Still haven’t read it. A most unique book – great find!
Right now I’m reading an italian book about contemporary cinema. I often read some foreign books. I loved BFI book about The thin red line, written by Michel Chion.
And, when I was looking for a good book about Francesco Rosi (for my final work at university) I couldn’t find any italian good one. I had to use Jean Gili’s Francesco Rosi. Cinema et pouvoir. Really a great book, it’s a pity that there isn’t an italian translation.
Hitchcock: Piece by Piece by Laurent Bouzereau
Thanks for the link to the BFI article, kndy. There are some great recommendations to be found on that list.
Apichatpong Weerasethakul (edited by James Quandt)
*Based on what I have read so far, I would say that it’s a must for all Apichatpong fans who want to delve deeper into his art and politics and would like to know more about his lesser-known shorts and installation works. The collection includes three essays by the subject himself.
Its been a while since I’ve picked these books back up again…
So off and on I’ve been reading:
Question: Does for Keeps encompass “When The Lights Go Down”? What else does the book have?
I am reading Love is Colder than Death by Robert Katz its an interesting biography of Rainer Werner Fassbinder. Has anyone read any other books on Fassbinder? Reading this book goes fast. I could finish it under 3 hours if I had too, its that good.
I am also reading(savoring) Kinski UNCUT. Which is the memoir of Klaus Kinski by Klaus Kinski, the best fucking memoir you will ever read. Kinski is a MASTER of prose, for real!
I wanna mention a great book by a great author that is just essential in my opinion. Its You’ll Never Eat Lunch in This Town Again by Julia Philips. Julia was one of the best movie producers of all time. She and her Husband Michael produced The Sting, Taxi Driver, and Close Encounters to name a few. She is one of the first female producers that I am aware(Ida Lupino was she a producer,probably?) The book is FASCINATING to say the least, Julia is VERY CANDID and holds no punches. A truly great memoir.
There are two books I want, I started reading Wired by Bob Woodward this is the John Belushi story( I stared reading this at the bookstore) great but doesn’t really cover the talented side of John. Its like an investigation into the darkside. I wanna read the Mutant King as well.
I would like to know of any good books on French New Wave, German Cinema, Japanese Cinema, and Italian Cinema. I am also interested in any book on Luis Bunuel,Sergei Einstein,Rainer Werner Fassbinder,Orsen Welles,Ida Lupino,Douglas Sirk,D.W Griffth,Oscar Micheaux,Brian De Palma,Paul Thomas Anderson,Quentin Tarantino,David O. Russell, Francis Ford Coppola,Luc Besson,Robert Altman,John Ford,Howard Hawks,Raoul Walsh,JAMES CAGNEY,Fatty Arbuckle,1920s Hollywood, 1930s Hollywood, 1940s Hollywood. I am also interested in any books on 42nd street and the grindhouse theaters of the bygone red light district.
Also any book on the silent film industry
Also any book on Tomas Milian and or John Garfield and Hammer Horror
The Amos Vogel book is essential.
Has anyone had a chance to see this new book I heard of about Cincetta in Italy, I believe its a pictorial history, I believe it just came out, read about in Filmmaker Magazine the one with the interviews with Gaspar Noe and Todd Solondz
mmm..are you sure that the author’s name is right? couldn’t find it on the web…
I’ve seen that a lot of you are reading biographies, or monographical books. I’m looking for good books about contemporary cinema. Theoretical essays, for example something interesting about digital technologies. I would be very interested in books that are about the overtaking of postmodern (if there are any)
Andrew Dudley – What Cinema Is! (ISBN 9781405107600)
Anyone read one of Bill Nichols books on documentary film? I haven’t, but I am thinking of purchasing one in the near future if it’s worth the money.
Nichols’ books are the standard-bearers for the study of documentary film. They’re canonical works. Get “Representing Reality” and “Blurred Boundaries”.