This is on its way:
This was great:
And, of course, Film as a Subversive Art.
wow what great books you all reading. and looking at the list, it seems most of them are really academic. I am more interested in the output or research interest you intellectuals have. it’s weird how academic publishing has also become a mode of consumption.
but anyway. this got me thinking. what is the relationship between cinema and literature. rather than books about / on cinema, here’s something i came up with
norman mailer : why are we in vietnam
Jun’ichirō Tanizaki : In Praise of Shadows
Euclides da Cunha : rebellion of the backlands
of course there’s always kafka, dostoevsky, gombrowicz, brecht(early), beckett, poe, proust, bataille or you can watch a late gordard film. he will probably give you a book list.
The FilmCraft books are pretty cool as they feature interviews with cinematographers and editors from all over the world.
I picked up the Catherine Deneuve, mainly to see what she wrote about her working on the set with Bunel and Truffaut. I’m into silent era and older Hollywood films and was interested in the lobby cards, so picked up the book above used…
The DSLR book is good if you use a Canon 5D Mark II, don’t have that camera but good book with info. but not essential as you can find a lot of the info. online.
I’ve been reading J. Hoberman & Jonathan Rosenbaum’s Midnight Movies
And my gf just gave me Hoberman’s Vulgar Modernism for Valentine’s Day!
Other recent thrift store pick-ups:
How is “Vulgar Modernism”?
I’ve read Oliver Stone’s only novel A Child’s Night Dream, which was his first attempt at becoming a novelist back in the mid 1960s, and the original manuscript was over a thousand pages thick. In frustration at it being rejected from publishing houses, Stone threw much of the manuscript into the Hudson River one night in 1967 and subsequently signed up for a tour of duty in Vietnam. Years later, after he’d become a renowned filmmaker, he found remnants of the drafts once thought totally lost and decided to reassemble them into a new piece, eventually published in 1997 as his first (and thus so far only) novel.
It is not an easy read, some of it is cerebrally thick and fragmented (as it seemed Stone’s young personality was at the time) but holds many a psychological and spiritual insight into the director himself, his basic concerns that he’d eventually go on to depict in his films (sourced mainly in the issues with his family, a stern, business oriented father – who we would go on to see depicted dually in Martin Sheen and Michael Douglas’ characters in Wall Street – and a fleeting, aloof French mother who adorned him with a more sensitive, worldly side to counter his blunt, direct masculine side) and his youthful sources of topical concern (experiences in Vietnam, with joining a Merchant Marine ship, escaping into Mexico, vast fantasizations bordering on the wordly idyllic and the crudely base). It may not be classical literature – though much of it is avidly Joycean ala “Ulysses” – but it serves as an expressionistic and rather personal expose of a man who’s been just as prolific as the films he’s made.
@ Daniel McCarthy How’s the Napoleon book? I bought a used copy off of Amazon and haven’t gotten around to reading it.
@Charles Deckert I tried reading Oliver Stone’s novel but I was just confused and found it awfully messy and disorganized. I had to give it up after I read just a little of it. I think I may have been 50 pages in. I can’t actually remember where I stopped.
I just finished the Storyboard Artist by Giuseppe Christiano. Thought it was very good and very informative and up to date. I think he really covers the topic of storyboarding well. I also read Writing Movies For Fun and Profit by Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon. They are a screenwriting team who have written movies like Herbie Fully Loaded and the Night at the Museum movies. They cover screenwriting that is done for the major studios in L.A. I thought they offered some good advice and found it to be a very entertaining read.
@KNDY — The book is a collection of Hoberman’s writings from the ‘80s, as you probably know. I haven’t read much of it yet, just a couple of the shorter pieces. I’ll post some thoughts here whenever I start reading it in earnest, but right now I’m reading Pnin by Nabokov.
I did, however, just finish Midnight Movies, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Rosenbaum’s deep reading of Eraserhead (including a wonderfully detailed discussion of the process behind Lynch and Alan Splet’s sound design) and Hoberman’s chapter on the New York underground cinema of the ‘60s were both particularly enlightening. The sociological study of the Rocky Horror cult was a bit more than I needed, but I don’t blame them; it’s certainly more fun to read about the cult than to actual watch the movie. This is also true, to a much lesser extent, of John Waters and Alejandro Jodorowsky, both of whom are also covered. I enjoy both Waters’ and Jodorowsky’s films, but I admire them even more as individuals, both deeply committed to his own personal obsessions.
@ Hal 9000 It’s pretty damn engrossing. Just finished the treatment and a historians analysis of it. Being some one who doesn’t know much about the time period, I’m finding it fascinating on both a film and history level.
@ HAL 9000
I know what you mean, it reads like a stream of consciousness from an unconscious strung out half the time on acid. Also keep in mind that it is partly from a manuscript of a young pre-Vietnam Oliver Stone who was most likely dabbling in drugs at the time, and of course a more recent 1990s Oliver Stone (also dabbling and possibly rehabillitating from drugs at the time) doing revisions and adding material and observations, so indeed it comes off as a scattered, sort of cryptic (to the author at least) and twisted mode of introspection…but I could relate though I’ve never taken drugs, I try to have a close inspection of my unconscious symbols as often as possible. But in short, I know it is rather difficult and trying to follow, took me a month to get through.
My current bedside stack of nightly perusal:
@Adam Cook I always keep a copy of The American Cinema by the toilet. It’s currently sharing space with Pauline Kael’s 5,001 Nights at the Movies and Nathan Rabin’s My Year of Flops.
Nice choices, Rick!
Can someone please help me out, and tell me how I post pictures in the forum? I tried copying and pasting the URL, but I am technologically retarded – so I am doing something wrong. Thank you :)
I am trying to get through Experimental Ethnography — by Catherine Russel who is the department head for Concordia’s film program – I went there last year :)
She also is the editor in chief for The Canadian Journal of Film Studies
http://www.filmstudies.ca/journal/cjfs/#3 ( The women is amazing. I have also found some pretty good articles on the site !!)
@Emma put an exclamation mark at the beginning and end of each url.
I’ve just completed Murray Pomerance, Michelangelo Red Antonioni Blue, an analysis of all of Antonioni’s color films, including the last few (before his death). My book review will appear in an upcoming issue of Quarterly Review of Film and Video.
It’s erudite and a bit rambling but when Pomerance hits a home run, it’s a “tape-measure job.”
Some knowledge of the director’s work would help.
Ordered these two last week, still waiting for them to arrive. I’m starting to get a bit anxious. Patience may be a virtue but it sure doesn’t make the wait any easier.
I see a fellow user has already beaten me to the punch. But just in case you’re lost or need any help, I hope this link remedies any technological shortcomings that may afflict you :)
Trying to make sense of Deleuze’s cinema books for my MA thesis. My impression is that the writing itself is oblique but the underlying ideas are important for film theory, and indeed philosophy in a wider context. This blog is helpful for any people in a similar position: http://bit.ly/AvLXLc Networkologies
I’m finishing up “The Star Machine.” It’s very good although sometimes a bit repetitive. But the author’s love for film and these old actors help to keep you reading. If you want to know more about how the studio system created the stars we know and love, check this out. I enjoyed it enough to seek out the author’s other cinema books.
Also, I found Ingmar Bergman’s “Images: My Life in Film” at my local BigLots! for 3 bucks! I"ve only scanned it but I’m excited to get into it. I need to finish “Hellraisers” first, though.
Scubadonc, Thanks for the heads up of Ingmar Bergman’s book. If I can find it at Big Lots for $3, I’ll need to go buy there.
Adam….I’ll need to pick up those books on Italian neorealism. Which of them do you enjoy the most?
I’m reading Dave Kehr’s “When Movies Mattered: Reviews From a Transformative Decade” (University of Chicago Press, 2011)
thoroughly recommended; like a slightly more cerebral Pauline Kael but without the De Palma fixation.
Haven’t checked if this Bordwell book has been mentioned already, but I’m really enjoying it. Typical of Bordwell, there is lots of discussion of framing, points of view in shots, length of takes, average lengths of takes in a film. Just reading the chapter on Angelopoulos, which is very enlightening. He also covers in detail Mizoguchi and Hou – among many other filmmakers. A great read!
See Bordwell’s website for more